Fast construction of concrete bridges
Society and the construction industry are continually setting targets where speed is of the essence. Speed of installation on site is particularly relevant where the cost of traffic management, road congestion or possession of a railway is found to be significant. Efficiency in construction that results in a reduced overall time for fabrication and installation almost invariably results in reduced costs. The effects of construction work on other facilities and services can often result in very significant additional cost elements. Reduced disruption, whether to a motorway or to a railway, often becomes a major objective. However, there will be times when a shorter period of major disruption will be more acceptable and get a job done quicker than a longer period of continual controlled interruption.
A report Fast construction of concrete bridges has been published by the Concrete Bridge Development Group, to bring together construction methods and details that are recognised as contributing to speeding up the construction of concrete bridges. It sets out to help clients, developers, designers and contractors to understand better the factors that contribute to fast construction and to appreciate some essential requirements and consequences of achieving a short delivery period.
Fast bridge construction in this context means any bridgework that improves upon traditional performance, whether this is a faster overall construction period or a speedy installation process. However, it is essential that quality should not be sacrificed for the sake of speed; any decision regarding the construction process must not compromise the long-term performance of the structure. The report reviews and considers issues that relate to the complete project (such as off-site fabrication) and issues that relate to the structure (such as prefabricated reinforcement) as well as a range of construction methods. A number of case studies are included, illustrating where various techniques have been adopted.