When it comes to groundbreaking technology, the construction industry has seen more advancements than arguably any industry in the last ten years. One such innovation is a technology that speeds up the construction process by allowing sections of material to be built offsite and then transferred and installed on location. This accelerated process used in constructing bridges is aptly named accelerated bridge construction (ABC), and it’s changing the way construction industry professionals approach projects.
The National Infrastructure Crisis
As Florida construction attorneys, we know that America’s infrastructure will need drastic improvements soon. Bridges and roads that were built nearly a century ago are deteriorating. In fact, 30 percent of our country’s bridges are “deficient or obsolete.” Soon we will need to rely on innovative solutions to repair these structures efficiently and in a cost-effective way ensuring long-term durability. As we will discuss in this five-part article, ABC technology has the potential to be part of the long-term solution for America’s infrastructure problem, but, with the recent tragedy of an ABC bridge collapsing in Miami, the technology needs to be closely monitored and fine-tuned in the short-term as well.
The Problems with the Conventional Construction Process
Part of the reason why ABC technology is being implemented into projects more frequently is because many conventional construction methods are no longer feasible. When it comes to building or replacing a new bridge, the traditional approach is extremely time consuming and depends on a lot of variables including the weather, the construction process, and other factors. In addition, roadway construction zones leave both workers and motorists at risk a well. Replacing a bridge the arduous and conventional way is simply a very challenging task in the 21st century.
The Basics of ABC Technology
Developed in theory in the 1980s, ABC has become implemented in more and more projects since 2010. As the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration states, ABC “uses innovative planning, design, materials, and construction methods” to produce newly designed bridges or to restore an existing bridge. Although the ABC process is placed under scrutiny right now, when implemented appropriately, the technology is generally considered to be a safer and a more cost-effective way to erect infrastructure.
In the second section of this five-part series, we will focus on the different types of ABC technology being put into practice. In the third and fourth sections, we will focus on the benefits of this innovative process. In the final section, we will discuss some of the potential drawbacks the technology may present in the short-term.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.