Keywords for Database Search

This keywords page contains a comprehensive list of different types of ABC technologies, techniques, processes, and other definitions related to:

  • Funding
  • Incentive Programs
  • Time Metrics
  • Primary Drivers
  • Project Planning
  • Geotechnical Solutions
  • Structural Solutions
  • Construction Equipment / Methods

These keywords can be used for searching and should be used to aid in the new project submittal process.

ABC Project Database

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC)

Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) is bridge construction that uses innovative planning, design, materials, and construction methods in a safe and cost-effective manner to reduce the onsite construction time that occurs when building new bridges or replacing and rehabilitating existing bridges. []

Time Metrics for ABC

To gauge the effectiveness of ABC, four time metrics are used:

  • Overall Project Time: Overall project time is the time beginning with planning/NEPA and ending with the completion of construction.
  • Project Development Time: Project development time is the time beginning with planning, including NEPA and contract plan development time, and ending on the date in which the project is advertised for construction.
  • On-site Construction Time: On-site construction time is the period of time from when a contractor alters the project site location until all construction-related activity is removed. This includes, but is not limited to, the removal of maintenance of traffic items, construction materials, equipment, and personnel.
  • Mobility Impact Time: Mobility impact time is any period of time the traffic flow of the transportation network is reduced due to on-site construction activities.

Mobility impact time is broken into six different impact categories. These six tiers are defined based on the length of the closure using ABC techniques.

Impact Categories:

  • Tier 1:   Traffic impacts within 1 day
  • Tier 2:   Traffic impacts within 3 days
  • Tier 3:   Traffic impacts within 2 weeks
  • Tier 4:   Traffic impacts within 1 month
  • Tier 5:   Traffic impacts within 3 month
  • Tier 6:   Overall project schedule is significantly reduced by months to years

Primary Drivers

  • Reduced traffic impacts
  • Reduced onsite construction time
  • Improved work-zone safety
  • Improved site constructability
  • Improved material quality and product durability
  • Minimized environmental impacts
  • Reduced initial cost
  • Reduced life-cycle cost
  • Single construction season
  • Contractor-initiated change
  • Maintain existing alignment
  • Limit right-of-way take
  • Ability to utilize local contractor or county workforce to construct
  • Emergency replacement {ER}
  • Minimize business impacts {can include farming}
  • Maintain essential services {e.g., first responders, policy, mail, bus, garbage collection}


Decision-Making Tools 

Site Procurement

  • Programmatic Agreement
  • Right-of-Way Acquisition
  • Relocation Incentive
  • Flexibility in Utilities
  • Early Environmental Clearance & Permitting
  • Electronic Shop Drawing Submittal & Approval Process
  • Fabrication Drawings Prior to Bid
  • Material Procurement Prior to Contract Award
  • Other Site Procurement

Project Delivery

  • Design-Bid-Build
  • Design-Build
  • In-House Force
  • CM/GC  [Construction Manager / General Contractor]
  • Public-Private Partnership [P3]
  • Emergency Contract
  • Alternative Technical Concept
  • Alternative Ton (Foundation)
  • Other Project Delivery


  • A+B Bidding
  • A+B+C Bidding
  • Full Lane Closure
  • Warranty
  • Lane Rental
  • Incentive / Disincentive Clause
  • No Excuse Bonus
  • Lump Sum Bonus
  • Contractor Option
  • Contractor Revision
  • Value Engineering
  • VE with Partnering
  • Formalized Partnering
  • Best Value Award
  • Performance Contracting
  • Accelerated Bid Process
  • Other Contracting


Foundations and Walls

Rapid Embankment

  • EPS Geofoam  {Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam}
  • Self-Compacting Backfill
  • Intelligent Compaction
  • Fully-Contained Flooded Backfill
  • Embankment Surcharge
  • Lightweight Fill
  • Other Rapid Embankment


Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES)

PBES are the structural components of a bridge that are built off-site or near the site of a bridge, and include features that reduce the on-site construction time and mobility impact time that would occur if conventional construction methods were used.

Prefabricated Elements

Prefabricated elements are a category of PBES which comprise a single structural component of a bridge.

Deck Elements

  • Full-Depth Precast Deck Panel w/PT
  • Full-Depth Precast Deck Panel w/o PT
  • Partial-Depth Precast Deck Panel
  • FRP Deck Panel  {fiber-reinforced polymer deck panel}
  • Steel Grid (open) Deck
  • Steel Grid (concrete filled) Deck
  • Aluminum Deck
  • Exodermic Deck
  • Orthotropic Deck
  • UHPC Waffle Deck
  • Other Deck Element

Deck beam elements eliminate conventional on-site deck forming activities. To reduce on-site deck forming operations, deck beam elements are typically placed in an abutting manner. Full-width beam elements eliminate conventional on-site beam placement activities. They are typically rolled, slid, or lifted into place to allow deck placement operations to begin immediately after placement. Given their size and weight, the entire deck is not included.

Deck Beam Elements

  • Adjacent Deck Bulb T Beam
  • Adjacent T Beam
  • Adjacent Inverted T Beam
  • Adjacent Box Beam
  • Adjacent Slab Beam
  • Adjacent Slab Beam w/Backwall
  • MDcBc  {Modular concrete-Decked concrete Beam}
  • MDcBs  {Modular concrete-Decked steel Beam}
  • MDcBh {Modular concrete-Decked hybrid Beam}
  • MDhBs {Modular hybrid-Decked steel Beam}
  • PT Concrete Through-Girder
  • Other Deck Beam Element

Full-Width Beam Elements

  • Truss Span w/o Deck
  • Arch Span w/o Deck
  • Precast Segmental
  • Steel Segmental
  • Other Full-Width Beam Element

Pier Elements

  • Precast Pile Cap
  • Precast Cap Shell
  • Precast Cap & Column(s)
  • Precast Column Cap (Precast Bent Cap; Precast Crossbeam)
  • Precast Column(s)
  • Precast Footing Shell
  • Precast Footing(s)
  • Precast Caisson Cap
  • Steel Pile Cap
  • Steel Column Cap
  • Steel Column(s)
  • Steel Cap & Column(s)
  • Other Pier Element

Abutment and Wall Elements

  • Precast Abutment Cap
  • Precast Backwall
  • Precast Abutment Cap w/Backwall
  • Precast Abutment Stem
  • Precast Wingwall
  • Precast Cheek Wall
  • Precast Abutment Footing
  • Steel Sheet Piling
  • Precast Sheet Piling
  • Precast Lagging Panel
  • Precast Full-Height Wall Panel
  • Precast Retaining Wall
  • MSE Wall  {mechanically-stabilized earth wall}
  • Modular Block Wall
  • GRS Abutment  {geosynthetic reinforced soil abutment}
  • Proprietary Wall
  • Other Abutment Element

Buried Bridge Elements

  • Buried Precast Arch
  • Buried Precast 3-Sided
  • Buried Precast Box
  • Buried Metal Arch
  • Buried Metal 3-Sided
  • Buried Metal Box

Prefabricated Systems

Prefabricated bridge systems are a category of PBES that consists of an entire superstructure, a superstructure and substructure without foundations, or a total bridge on shallow foundations, procured such that traffic operations can resume immediately or very soon after placement. Prefabricated systems are rolled, launched, slid, lifted, or otherwise transported into place as a unit, for example, having the deck and preferably the parapets in place such that any separate construction phase after placement is minimized.

Superstructure Systems

Prefabricated superstructure systems include both the deck and primary supporting members integrated such that mobility disruptions occur only as a result of the system being placed. These systems are transported into place as a unit onto existing or new abutments and/or piers.

  • FDcBc  {Full-Width concrete-Decked concrete Beam Unit}
  • FDcBs  {Full-Width concrete-Decked steel Beam Unit}
  • Through-Girder Span w/Deck
  • Truss Span w/Deck
  • Arch Span w/Deck
  • Steel Orthotropic Box Girder Span
  • Prestressed Multi-Cell Box Girder Span
  • Metal Panel Deck Span
  • RDcBc  {Reused concrete-Decked concrete Beam span}
  • RDcBs  {Reused concrete-Decked steel Beam span}
  • Other Superstructure System

Superstructure / Substructure Systems

Examples of prefabricated superstructure/substructure systems are rigid frames that include either the interior piers or the abutments, or buried bridge systems, without foundations. Superstructure/substructure systems are transported into place as a unit onto existing or new foundations.

  • Super/Substructure System w/o Foundations
  • Buried Bridge System w/o Foundations
  • Other Superstructure / Substructure System

Total Bridge Systems

Prefabricated total bridge systems include the entire superstructure and substructure (both abutments and piers) on shallow foundations, made integral with the superstructure, built off-line, and transported into place as a unit onto the existing alignment.

  • Super/Substructure System w/ Shallow Foundations (Rolled/Launched/Slid/Lifted)
  • Other Total Bridge System


Miscellaneous Prefabricated Elements

Prefabricated miscellaneous elements either eliminate various activities that are associated with conventional bridge construction or complement the use of PBES.

  • Precast Approach Slab
  • Precast Curb
  • Prefabricated Railing
  • Precast Diaphragm
  • Steel Diaphragm
  • LWC Beam {lightweight concrete beam}
  • LWC Deck  {lightweight concrete deck}
  • LWC Substructure  {lightweight concrete substructure}
  • Other Miscellaneous Prefabricated Element

Closure Joints / Connections

  • CIP Reinforced Closure Joint {cast-in-place reinforced concrete closure joint}
  • High-Strength CIP Reinforced Closure Joint
  • HESt-LSh Concrete Joint {high-early-strength low-shrinkage concrete joint}
  • UHPC Closure Joint {ultra-high-performance concrete closure joint}
  • Epoxy Joint
  • Grouted Key Closure Joint
  • Grouted Blockout w/Shear Connector
  • Grouted Duct Connection
  • Pocket Connection [see definition below]
  • Socket Connection [see definition below]
  • Link Slab
  • Match Cast Closure Joint
  • Bars in Splice Coupler
  • PT Ducts/Bonded
  • PT Ducts/Un-bonded
  • Other Closure Joint/Connection

Definition: Pocket Connection = A connection between two prefabricated elements thru the projection of multiple bars or connectors of one element into a single void that is cast internal to the receiving element. The void is then filled with either concrete, grout, or other suitable material. (Ref.: AASHTO ABC Guide Spec)

Definition: Socket Connection = A connection between two prefabricated elements thru the projection of a single portion of one element into a single void of the receiving element. The gap between the two elements is then filled with either concrete, grout, or other suitable material. (Ref.: AASHTO ABC Guide Spec)


  • Standard Concrete Overlay
  • High-Density Concrete Overlay
  • HPC Overlay  {high-performance concrete overlay}
  • UHPC Overlay {ultra-high-performance concrete overlay}
  • Asphalt Overlay w/Membrane
  • Asphalt Overlay w/o Membrane
  • Latex-Modified Overlay
  • Micro-Silica Concrete Overlay
  • Polymer Concrete Overlay
  • Rapid Set Overlay
  • Thin-Bonded Epoxy Overlay
  • Asphalt Chip Seal w/o Membrane
  • Other Overlay


SPMT   {Self-Propelled Modular Transporter}

  • SPMTs
  • SPMT with Gantry System
  • SPMT on Barge
  • Other SPMT Combination

Lateral Slide {aka, Slide-in Bridge Construction}

  • Lateral Slide {w / roller or pad}

Longitudinal Launch

  • Longitudinal Launch

Miscellaneous ABC Equipment

  • High-Capacity Crane(s)
  • High-Capacity Crane on Barge
  • Strand Jack
  • Towed Modular Transporter
  • Float In
  • Gantry System
  • Multi-Axle Flatbed Trailer
  • Other ABC Equipment