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
  • Federal Incentive Programs
  • Time Metrics
  • Primary Drivers
  • Project Planning
  • Geotechnical Solutions
  • Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems
  • Construction Equipment and 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. []



  • Federal Only
  • State Only
  • Federal and State
  • Local
  • Other Funding

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 categories. These six tiers are defined based on the length of the closure using ABC techniques.

  • 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
  • Contractor-initiated change
  • Maintain existing alignment
  • Limit right-of-way take
  • Emergency replacement {ER}
  • Ability to utilize local contractor or county workforce to construct
  • 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
  • Precast 3-Sided Culvert
  • Other Abutment Element

Prefabricated Systems

Prefabricated systems are a category of PBES that consists of an entire superstructure, an entire superstructure and substructure, or a total bridge that is procured in a modular manner such that traffic operations can be allowed to resume after placement. Prefabricated systems are rolled, launched, slid, lifted, or otherwise transported into place, having the deck and preferably the parapets in place such that no separate construction phase is required after placement.

Superstructure Systems

Superstructure systems include both the deck and primary supporting members integrated in a modular manner such that mobility disruptions occur only as a result of the system being placed. These systems can be rolled, launched, slid, lifted, or transported in place, onto existing or new substructures (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

Prefabricated superstructure/substructure systems include either the interior piers or the abutments, which are integrated in a modular manner with the superstructure as described above. Superstructure/substructure systems can be slid, lifted, or transported into place onto new or existing substructures.

  • Rigid Frame w/Deck and Railing
  • Other Super/Substructure System

Total Bridge Systems

Total bridge systems include the entire superstructure and substructures (both abutments and piers) that are integral with the superstructure that are built off-line and installed in a manner to allow traffic operations to resume after placement. This excludes projects that are built off-line and, once complete, traffic “shifted” to the new alignment.

  • Rolled/Launched/Slid/Lifted
  • Other Total Bridge System

Miscellaneous 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 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

Construction Equipment and Methods

SPMT   {Self-Propelled Modular Transporter}

  • SPMT(s)
  • SPMT with Gantry System
  • SPMT on Barge
  • Other SPMT Combination

Lateral Slide {aka, Slide-in Bridge Construction}

  • Lateral Slide w/pad
  • Lateral Slide w/roller

Other Equipment

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

Longitudinal Launch

  • Longitudinal Launch w/pad
  • Longitudinal Launch w/roller