Accelerating construction of roadway bridges using alternative techniques and procurement methods

    Ossama Salem Affiliation
    ; Baris Salman Affiliation
    ; Sudipta Ghorai Affiliation


Approximately a quarter of the bridges in the United States are classified as either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). As such, transportation agencies are challenged to handle the increasing need of upgrades with limited resources. Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) can reduce the construction duration and can decrease the environmental and socio-economic impacts of repair and upgrade activities by minimizing traffic disruptions. As several states are using accelerated construction techniques, a standard guideline would be highly beneficial for these agencies in developing or improving the ABC decision-making process. As problems are often project specific, a decision tool can assist in determining the viability of ABC over traditional construction methods and in selecting appropriate construction and contracting strategies on a case-by-case basis. This paper presents findings of a recent survey with regards to utilization of ABC strategies by state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), and a decision support framework which consists of three models: (1) Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) based ABC vs. traditional construction decision-making model; (2) ABC alternatives selection model; and (3) procurement method and contract selection model. The paper also discusses the use of ABC in New York State and describes a New York State bridge project to validate the AHP model.

First published online 02 May 2017

Keyword : accelerated bridge construction, analytical hierarchy process, procurement methods, contracting requirements, decision-making models

How to Cite
Salem, O., Salman, B., & Ghorai, S. (2018). Accelerating construction of roadway bridges using alternative techniques and procurement methods. Transport, 33(2), 567-579.
Published in Issue
Jan 26, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


AASHTO. 2007. Accelerating Project Delivery. Publication TIF7-1. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), US. 56 p. Available from Internet:

Alonso, J. A.; Lamata, M. T. 2006. Consistency in the analytic hierarchy process: a new approach, International Journal of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and Knowledge-Based Systems 14(4): 445–459.

ASCE. 2013. Bridges, in 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Available from Internet:

Blanchard, B. A.; Bohuslav, T. R.; Schneider, C.; Anderson, S.; Schexnayder, C. J.; DeWitt, S. D.; Raymond, G.; Sheffield, R. 2009. Best Practices in Accelerated Construction Techniques. NCHRP Project 20-68A, Scan 07-02. National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), US. 192 p. Available from Internet:

Carpenter, B.; Fekpe, E.; Gopalakrishna, D. 2003. Performance-Based Contracting for the Highway Construction Industry: an Evaluation of the Use of Innovative Contracting and Performance Specification in Highway Construction. Battelle Memorial Institute, US. 49 p.

Culmo, M. P. 2011. Accelerated Bridge Construction: Experience in Design, Fabrication and Erection of Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems. Final Manual. Publication No HIF-12-013. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Department of Transportation. 347 p. Available from Internet:

Culmo, M. P. 2009. Connection Details for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems. Publication No FHWA-IF-09-010. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Department of Transportation. 568 p. Available from Internet:

Doolen, T.; Saeedi, A.; Emami, S. 2011. Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) Decision Making and Economic Modeling Tool. Final Report. Project TPF-5(221). Oregon Department of Transportation, US. 201 p.

FHWA. 2012. Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) Definitions. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Department of Transportation. Available from Internet:

FHWA. 2007. Manual on Use of Self-Propelled Modular Transporters to Remove and Replace Bridges. Publication No FHWA-HIF-07-022. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Department of Transportation. 118 p. Available from Internet:

Fishman, E.; Kirkpatrick, E.; Ellis, L. P. G. 2009. Legal Research Digest 51: Major Legal Issues for Highway Public-Private Partnerships. National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). 39 p.

Hall, J.; Migliaccio, G.; Tarefder, R.; Ghorai, S. 2010. Road Lifecycle Innovative Financing (Road LIFE) 2010. Report No NM08ADM-01. Research Bureau, NM Department of Transportation, US. 107 p. Available from Internet:

Hancher, D. E. 1999. Contracting Methods for Highway Construction. Committee on Construction Management, Transportation Research Board, US. 7 p.

Lee, E.-B.; Thomas, D. K. 2007. State-of-practice technologies on accelerated urban highway rehabilitation: I-15 California experience, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 133(2): 105–113.

Mahdi, I. M.; Alreshaid, K. 2005. Decision support system for selecting the proper project delivery method using analytical hierarchy process (AHP), International Journal of Project Management 23(7): 564–572.

McIntyre, C.; Parfitt, M. K. 1998. Decision support system for residential land development site selection process, Journal of Architectural Engineering 4(4): 125–131.

Pan, N.-F. 2008. Fuzzy AHP approach for selecting the suitable bridge construction method, Automation in Construction 17(8): 958–965.

Ralls, M. L.; Tang, B.; Bhidé, S.; Brecto, B.; Calvert, E.; Capers, H.; Dorgan, D.; Matsumoto, E.; Napier, C.; Nickas, W.; Russell, H. 2005. Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems in Japan and Europe. Publication No FHWA-PL-05-003. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Department of Transportation. 65 p. Available from Internet:

Reichman, S. 1976. Conceptual problems in evaluation of travel time, Transportation Research Record 587: 24–29.

Saaty, T. L. 2012. Decision Making for Leaders: the Analytic Hierarchy Process for Decisions in a Complex World. 3rd revised edition. RWS Publications. 323 p.

Saaty, T. L. 1980. The Analytic Hierarchy Process: Planning, Priority Setting, Resource Allocation. Mcgraw-Hill. 287 p.

Salem, O. 2013. Accelerating the Construction Process of Highway Bridges. Final Report. UTRC-RF Project No 49111-29-21. Syracuse University, US. 141 p. Available from Internet:

Salem, O.; Ghorai, S.; Salman, B.; Aboutaha, R. 2014. A decision support framework for accelerated bridge construction, in TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers, 12–16 January 2014, Washington, DC, US, 1–21.

Salem, O.; Salman, B.; Aboutaha, R. 2013. Accelerating the Construction Process of Highway Bridges. Final Report. UTRCRF Project No. 49111-29-21. University Transportation Research Center – Region 2, US. 141 p. Available from Internet:

Tang, B. 2006. Framework for prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PBES) decision-making, in Proceedings of the Second US–Taiwan Bridge Engineering Workshop, 21–22 September 2006, San Francisco, California, US. 21 p.

UDOT. 2010. Accelerated Bridge Construction Decision Making Process 2010. Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), US. 7 p. Available from Internet:

Youssef, M. A.; Anumba, C. J.; Thorpe, T. 2005. Intelligent selection of concrete bridge construction methods in Egypt, in Proceedings of the 2005 ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil Engineering, 12–15 July 2005, Cancun, Mexico, 1–14.