About the research
Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technologies have gained significant momentum in recent years. Besides their ability to deliver bridge projects (whether new or existing) rapidly and efficiently, these techniques can significantly improve safety of the traveling public and workers, enhance the quality and durability of bridge components and consequently those of the overall bridge structure. Given these advantages over conventional approaches to bridge construction, several Departments of Transportation (DOTs), in collaboration with research institutes, have successfully developed and implemented innovative ABC methods for various substructure and/or superstructure systems with the primary goal of reducing on-site construction time of existing or new structures and thus minimizing impacts on mobility and related traffic delays. Attempts at implementing ABC techniques for substructure systems in California and other states have been challenging owing to certain design practices, including the use of post-tensioning and cast-in-drilled-hole (CIDH) piles, and the necessity of in-situ concreting/grouting, which delays construction progress until the concrete/grout reaches adequate strengths. Moreover, the development of ABC for substructure systems requires careful consideration of seismic performance and soil-structure interaction.
The main objectives of this research include the following:
- Developing ABC concepts for column-footing-pile systems for use in California that will utilize lightweight precast modular sections
- Developing reliable connection details, which will ensure full mobilization of the system design strength and promote full development of the plastic hinge in the column adjacent to the footing
- Providing experimental evidence for the developed system with due consideration of soil-structure interaction
- Developing analysis techniques that can quantify the expected performance of the system with consideration of the developed connection details
- Developing construction specifications to ensure reliable performance of the system