About the research
Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) is a solution for upgrading substandard bridges that reduces construction and closure times and minimizes exposure of the traveling public and road workers to construction activities. To take full advantage of the benefits of ABC, agencies should decide which projects are appropriate for ABC, how to bid these projects given the unique attributes of ABC methods, and which procurement and project delivery methods to use.
The research team compiled information on decision matrices for identifying ABC projects, alternative delivery methods, and the procurement methods used for ABC projects, outlining bidding processes for projects that utilized ABC. Four ABC projects in three states (Georgia, Indiana, and Minnesota) were then investigated in detail. The research team reached out to personnel involved in the projects to discuss bid items, contracting methods, and lessons learned. The results of this effort are included in two separate reports and also in four standalone case study summaries.
The case studies suggest that ABC can be successfully implemented using any of the delivery methods explored in this study: design-build, design-bid-build, or construction manager/general contractor. Regardless of the project delivery method, communication and collaboration between the contractor and agency result in a better project outcome. Effective communication with the public is also important during ABC projects and can be done by either the agency or the contractor. When bids allow for flexibility, innovation is often incorporated into the project, which results in financial savings for the agency and/or time savings for the traveling public. After a project is completed, the agency can benefit from reviewing the lessons learned and successful aspects of the project and applying these to future projects.