Federal programs such as The Federal Highway Administration’s Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) and government grant programs are continually in search of innovative approaches to planning, design, materials, and construction methods associated with the building of new bridges, replacing, or rehabilitating existing bridges.
The use of Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) offers solutions that provide significantly reduced onsite construction time, safety advantages, and convenience for both human and wildlife travel while minimizing impact to environment. The use of PBES addresses many constructability and financial challenges while revolutionizing bridge construction throughout the U.S. and abroad. The implementation of PBES often results in lower cost infrastructure enabling more projects to be funded and constructed.
Civil infrastructure and environmental projects alike each have unique challenges when developing project solutions. Prefabricated solutions are not a one-size-fits-all option but rather elements that are fully engineered and fabricated to the specifics of each project application. By tailoring a standardized prefabricated solution, such as bridge structures, to meet the needs of a specific project need, the efforts associated with the design, and construction are often more efficient than traditional methods. Tailoring a standardized prefabricated system enables further identification of projects “to fit” within identified parameters leading to prioritization of environmental connectivity project development.
The purpose of this presentation is to highlight innovative prefabricated bridge solutions, specifically wildlife crossing structures designed to dovetail with various environmental improvement projects and FHWA’s Accelerated Bridge Program initiatives. The use of these prefabricated structural solutions results in accelerated construction time versus conventional solutions, less environmental impacts, and efficient cost-effective long-term solutions. These technologies include precast concrete arch systems, structural steel plate, steel truss systems, and Army Corp approved hard armoring features for scour protection. The implementation of PBES provide turnkey solutions with the least material per waterway or environmental area verse conventional construction practices, while contributing to the goal of balancing environment and civil infrastructure.