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article imageTime-saving technology used to build the collapsed Miami bridge

By Karen Graham     Mar 17, 2018 in Technology
The University City Bridge, the pedestrian bridge on the campus of Florida International University that collapsed on Thursday, was built using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technology, according to a statement from the university.
Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC), unlike traditional methods of construction, streamlines the building process so that bridge projects can be completed quickly and cost-effectively.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), by using ABC technology, State Departments of Transportation can refurbish or construct new bridges in 48 to 72 hours. The FHA says using the technology reduces traffic delays and road closures that can be frustrating to commuters.
“The timely innovation comes when approximately 25 percent of our Nation’s aging bridges need repair or replacement and our highways are already congested without the added strain of road closures,” says the FHA. It should be noted that all the FHA websites are unavailable today.
Police block a road near a newly installed pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami
Police block a road near a newly installed pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami
The bridge across Southwest 8th Street
The 174-foot portion of the FIU pedestrian bridge was built adjacent to Southwest 8th Street using Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) and was driven into its perpendicular position across the road by a rig in only six hours on Saturday, March 10.
The 950-ton bridge near Florida International University was part of a construction project to provide a safe crossing of the eight-lane thoroughfare for the 4,200 FIU students living in Sweetwater.
The Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) is one of three primary methods used in ABC technology. The other two include the Slide-In Bridge Construction, and the Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil - Integrated Bridge System.
The bridge was the first in the world to be constructed entirely of self-cleaning concrete, said the university. Titanium dioxide used in its construction, when exposed to sunlight, captures air pollutants and keeps the surface white.
David Mack
According to a website post from FIU on a page that has since been taken down, but was cached by Google, Civil engineering doctoral student Dewan Hossain said: “I would say this is magic. In five hours using that ABC technology and sensors, the bridge is already there. In the classroom, we learn about the design, the construction, the safety – that’s a big issue – and here we’re seeing it actually happening. Here we are establishing a real, practical application of what we learn in the classroom.
The University City Bridge was built by the Munilla Construction Management and designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane. Boston 25 News has confirmed through a company representative that FIGG Bridge Group co-designed the bridge. The company also co-designed the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in Boston.
Both Munilla Construction and FIGG Bridge Group have issued statements saying they will fully cooperate with every appropriate authority n reviewing what happened and why the collapse occurred.
More about miami bridge, ABC technology, warning by engineer, FIGG Bridge Group, Zakim Bridge
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