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Top Cutting Edge Technologies for Bridge Design and Construction

Construction Tech Review | Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Top Cutting Edge Technologies for Bridge Design and Construction

Engineers and designers use BIM technology to develop 3-D models that contain data ranging from a building's physical characteristics to its functional characteristics.

FREMONT, CA : The rapid growth of new technology and materials has resulted in significant changes in bridge design. Engineers used to be unable to provide accurate models or comprehensive analyses of bridges due to a lack of tools and software. However, with today's technological advancements, bridge engineers now have access to modern advanced construction techniques, materials, equipment, and applications.

The top advanced technologies for bridge design and construction are as below.

Prefabrication

Today's bridge construction industry faces numerous challenges, including weather, quality assurance, and site complications, to name a few. Bridge structural members, such as decks, are built off-site in a managed environment to solve these issues. The Precast Concrete (PC) method is one example. The bridge decks are assembled in advance at a factory off-site and then transported to the construction site for assembly. This approach significantly reduces construction time while still ensuring consistency, resulting in increased performance.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, which is a process that integrates Architects, Engineers, And Construction (AEC) practitioners more effectively in the construction process. Engineers and designers use BIM technology to develop 3-D models that contain data ranging from a building's physical characteristics to its functional characteristics. This data encourages architects, engineers, and construction professionals to collaborate across disciplines to gain a greater understanding of the project they are working on.

Smart Construction

Digital technology is rapidly changing and affecting the building industry today. Every construction site now employs Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), drones, site robots, and other smart construction techniques and concepts. Bridges are not an exception to this rule. Drones with LIDAR sensors and GPS monitoring are one of the most commonly used smart construction technologies in bridge design. Bridge engineers will pinpoint the exact position on which the bridge will stand using these drones, greatly reducing errors. One causeway, for example, has integrated the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system into their bridge system. In the event of an emergency, this device requires cameras to track traffic movements. It also includes condition control, damage or crack identification in concrete and steel structures, as well as overall bridge structural health monitoring.

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