TDOT Using Same Construction Technique as Failed Bridge in Florida - Articles

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Posted by: Jarod Word on Mar 21, 2018
Despite the deadly failure of a Florida pedestrian span that was being built using the same sped-up process, Tennessee transportation officials said Friday they don't foresee any changes in a project on Interstate 240 in East Memphis, reports The Commercial Appeal. The process, known as "accelerated bridge construction (ABC)," considers how bridge construction impacts local traffic flow and tries to shift as much construction to be done in advance and off-site before moving those pieces onsite. The Tennessee Department of Transportation began work earlier this year on a $54.1 million project that will replace four aging spans across I-240, with the use of accelerated construction practices allowing the project to be completed in 15 to18 months instead of the two to three years that would be needed for conventional building techniques.  
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in a prepared statement that the 950-ton pedestrian span at Florida International University appears to be of a "unique design." Additionally, the final support columns and the suspension cables had not been installed.” Schroer continued, "Since we do not yet know whether the collapse was caused by a design issue on the front end or an issue related to ABC, it is too early for TDOT to determine whether any changes to our processes will be appropriate.”
Unlike the Florida span, the new bridges that will be installed for eastbound and westbound Poplar, the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Park Avenue will involve "very traditional" designs, according to Schroer, with total shutdowns of traffic planned during installation. The ABC process has been used successfully in Nashville and it has been embraced by engineers and transportation departments in many states because it allows for minimal road closures.