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Lessons Learned from VDOT Accelerated Bridge Construction Project

Presentation will highlight the construction experience from a four-year ABC bridge replacement project of eleven bridge structures along congested I-95 corridor in Richmond, Virginia. Features include casting yard, prefabricated bridge units, MPT staging, off-peak night-time operations and coordination with railroads and traveling public.


I-95 is a north-south, six-lane, divided, interstate highway that crosses through Richmond and Henrico County, Virginia. It is a major thoroughfare for Richmond metropolitan area commuters and for east coast travelers. Eleven dual bridges (northbound and southbound structures) were replaced the past four years using state-of-the-art accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques.

All the bridge superstructures (beams, concrete deck and parapets) were constructed off site and delivered to the bridge locations with specialty transport trailers. Existing bridge section and span will be saw-cut and removed and replaced with precast beam and slab units. A total of 234 pre-constructed bridge units (PCUs) were match cast fabricated and installed at the project site.

The management of this construction project and the issues inherent to these ABC bridge restorations will be discussed. Most of the replacement work was performed at night and also on a handful of select weekends, so careful construction phasing, maintenance and protection of traffic, work zone safety, stakeholder coordination, and public outreach were critical elements of the project. One of the major structures on the project over a CSX railroad line also required additional coordination and review of the construction phasing and execution in this area.

The project’s success is a testament to VDOT’s proven project management approach and reputation for safety. Additionally, proactive and constant coordination with the contractor and the public stakeholders was also a critical element to minimize disruption to the traveling public and deliver a quality infrastructure to the community in an expeditious manner.



Jorge M. Suarez PE, F. ASCE
Structural Engineer
STV Inc.


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