There has been a major transformation in bridge construction in the country with the introduction of prefabricated bridges. Here are the major advantages of using prefabricated bridges in many applications.
Using prefabricated bridges saves a lot of time. It takes time to construct the foundation for piers and abutments in traditional bridge building. Pier columns and caps must also be built before placing beams and decks. There is fast installation of these elements if they are prefabricated and installed as needed.
There is also less delay when using prefabricated elements. The bridge elements are constructed in a place where the climate is controlled so it is only the work that is done onsite that is affected by the weather. Thus, weather delays will be minimized.
The reduction of construction time will lead to greater cost savings. When prefabricated bridges are used, then there will be fewer delays and fewer road closures. Rush-hour traffic will not worsen. Traffic congestion is said to cost billions of dollars in wasted gas and wasted person hours per year. These costs can be controlled when there are fewer delays in construction projects.
Traditional bridge construction exposes workers to moving traffic. They are at risk of traffic accidents during peak hours. When construction time is reduced, then it also reduces exposure time to these hazards.
Other hazards in constructing bridges is when you need to work over water or near power lines. There is reduced exposure to these dangers since prefabrication stages of bridge constructions occur in a safe controlled environment. To reduce the time of workers to operate over water for over-water bridges is to use prefabricated bent and pier caps.
There are difficult constraints imposed on bridge construction in many job sites. You can cause heavy traffic if your bridge construction is on interstate traffic. There can be difficulty in constructing bridge segments on places with high elevations. There may be adjacent stores of other facilities near the construction area that can restrict it.
These constructability challenges can be solved with prefabricated bridges since you don’t have to accomplish these tasks in the work zone. These prefabricated bridge elements are constructed offsite and brought to the project location ready to install. The processes that can be done offsite include formwork erection, formwork removal, steel reinforcement and concrete placement, and concrete curing.
Since you only need to install the bridge, there is less construction-related traffic disruptions for commuters and other travelers. Bridges and roadway closures are shorter in duration because of shorter construction times. Traffic can easily be normalized. To minimize the inconvenience of travelers, prefabricated bridges are usually transported on site during non-peak hours.