The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is advancing the Florida International University (FIU) bridge engineering program’s efforts to make the country’s aging bridges safer.
FIU will receive $1.5 million per year, for five years, for its Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC). A combined match from the state and private sector will bring the award to more than $10 million.
The money will help address one of the nation’s major transportation challenges—dilapidated bridges in need of repair. The ABC-UTC works closely with the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to advance accelerated bridge design and construction, through research, workforce development and technology transfer.
More than 200 proposals were submitted to U.S. DOT, and only 20 institutions were selected for funding and designation as a Tier 1 University Transportation Center. FIU will serve as the lead institution, with Iowa State University, University of Nevada, Reno, University of Oklahoma, and University of Washington, serving as partner universities.
The ABC-UTC focuses on five research categories, among them developing the tools to allow bridge owners to make better decisions with respect to construction methods and ensure long service life of ABC projects. There is also an emphasis on developing the next generation of bridge systems that are best suited for ABC application, and the most effective use of high-performing materials and advanced construction methods.