Development of Guide for Selection of Substructure for ABC Projects

Project Information
Final Report Coming Soon

The aim of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) is to reduce the impact of bridge construction on the public and bridge usage by reducing the construction time, especially when replacement of an existing bridge is involved, as well as to enhance safety and reduce congestion. Although much work has been done in the past to investigate the design, configuration, and erection methods for bridge superstructure, limited studies have addressed substructures and foundations.  Often, it is assumed that the bridge substructure and foundation are ready to receive the superstructure.  Based on field experience, site-specific testing, design and construction of foundations and substructures can be the most time-consuming part of bridge construction.  An informed and educated decision on the type of foundation and substructure may define the viability and economic feasibility of the entire ABC project.  In the proposed study, the research team seeks to develop a Guide that can be readily used by practitioners for the selection of substructures and foundations for different ABC projects. Potential issues related to construction of new bridges and replacement of existing bridges will be discussed.  The study will also include discussions on evaluation and strengthening of existing substructure and foundation for potential reuse. It will be attempted to identify gaps in existing knowledge and practice and make recommendations for future studies to address these gaps. This research project is a collaborative project between Florida International University (FIU) and the Oklahoma University (OU). FIU will focus its work on substructure (excluding foundation) and lead the development of the guideline, and OU will focus its activities on foundation related subjects and provide support to FIU on other tasks.

The primary objective of this project is to provide guidelines for decision making by the designers and bridge owners for the selection of substructure and foundation for new bridges and replacement of existing bridges using the ABC methods, including evaluation, retrofitting, design, and construction.

The following tasks will be performed to achieve the project objective:

  • Task 1 – Develop an Outline for the Guideline
    •  A draft outline of the Guide for the selection of substructure and foundation for ABC projects has been discussed collaboratively by the research teams at FIU and OU.  This draft outline will be developed and finalized based on current information.
  • Task 2 –Conduct Literature Search on Topics Identified in the Draft Outline
    •  A literature search will be conducted on the topics identified in the guideline.  While this will be a coordinated effort between FIU and OU, FIU researchers will focus on items with relevance to substructure (excluding foundation).
  • Task 3 – Identify Stakeholders and Conduct Survey
    • The research team members will work collaboratively and with the ABC-UTC leadership to identify stakeholders for this study. A survey of the stakeholders will be prepared and conducted to identify existing practices that are not available in the open literature.
  • Task 4 – Analysis of Literature Search and Survey Results
    •  Information from the literature search and survey will be analyzed carefully to document existing practices, best practices, issues, and other important factors such as cost, service life, construction/retrofitting time, and durability. FIU will focus on substructure (excluding foundation).
  • Task 5 – Identification of Issues and Potential Solutions
    •  Findings of previous tasks will be used to identify potential issues related to design and implementation of ABC substructures and the knowledge gaps that may be hindering the design and use of ABC substructures.
  • Task 6 – Develop Draft Guide
    •   A draft Guide will be compiled in collaboration with OU and submitted for review by the Advisory Panel. The draft will be revised based on the review comments.
  • Task 7 – Final Report
    •  Final report will be prepared and submitted.  The report will include the Guideline, and the process used in the development of the Guide will be included. FIU will lead this task with the support from OU.

Research Team:
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Armin Mehrabi and Dr. Hesham Ali
Co-Principal Investigator:  Dr. David Garber
Research Assistant: Mohamadtaqi Baqersad

Previous Progress Reports: