Complex bridges

More than 50,000 bridges across the U.S. have been rated “structurally deficient.” Now is the time for owners to take advantage of innovative construction techniques and financing options.

Bridges not only connect commuters and freight to destinations, they serve as community connectors that provide Americans access to jobs, healthcare, emergency services, recreational amenities and more. So, it is critical that we address the need for improved bridge infrastructure nationwide if we are to achieve the robust, multimodal transportation network the U.S. needs to keep our nation safe and economically competitive.

When repair needs are not met, bridge replacements and closures can force commuters into frustratingly long detours, block residents from convenient access to their homes and jobs, or delay life-saving emergency services. In a 2018  HNTB Viewpoint, Chris Price, national bridge practice leader, explains that continued infrastructure investment and alternative construction methods can accelerate project delivery.

A variety of techniques can ensure our nation’s bridges are structurally stable and sustainable, and that they are delivered in a timely fashion: 
  • State-of-the-art analysis and design software, 3D modeling and animation, and other technologies that aid robust bridge design. 
  • Regular, thorough inspections ensure bridges meet federal standards and detect early repair needs, and are critical to maintaining the health of these structures. Techniques to aid inspections, including the use of drones and structural health monitoring, are being implemented. 
  • Program management can help ensure bridge projects run smoothly and efficiently, and to owner standards. 
  • Innovative delivery strategies such as design-build can create opportunities for innovation, cost savings and more timely delivery. 
  • And accelerated bridge construction methodologies coordinate project planning, design and construction innovations to significantly reduce bridge replacement time, often to just weeks or days. 

Accelerated Bridge Construction
HNTB has been at the forefront of the ABC trend since it began in 2006. The firm worked with the Transportation Research Board and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on a six-year project that resulted in a strategic report that serves as a guide for public agencies seeking to implement ABC projects. The toolkit includes ABC design standards, design examples and construction specifications. 

HNTB has a significant track record of involvement in successful ABC projects, including:
HNTB bridge experts

Chris Price, PE, is national bridge practice leader for HNTB. He has more than 30 years of experience serving the firm in a variety of leadership roles, his expertise includes the role of design-build in the bridge market, innovations in bridge building and accelerated bridge construction.

Bala Sivakumar, PE, has led national bridge research projects on accelerated bridge design for TRB under the Strategic Highway Research Program and was the primary author of the Strategic Highway Research Program Report S2-R04-RR-2: “Innovative Bridge Designs for Rapid Renewal: ABC Toolkit.”

 Selected HNTB thought leadership:
Selected media: 
Photo: Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York