Document Type


Publication Date



Emerald Publishing

Source Publication

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1108/09699980710760685



The potential threats of extreme events to highway bridges have received increased attention from government agencies, the engineering and construction communities, and the traveling public. These events include terrorist attacks as well as human‐induced and natural hazards such as earthquakes, explosions, fires, floods, and hurricanes. To respond to the potential threats on highway bridges, a research project was conducted to identify rapid bridge replacement processes, techniques, and needs for improvements.


To achieve the research objectives, a detailed case study of previous bridge replacement following an extreme event was conducted. The case study was performed using a three‐step approach. First, the research team reviewed the literature related to the case. Second, the research team interviewed the people who were involved with the case via the telephone. Third, the research team conducted a written survey to gain knowledge about the previously unanswered questions and additional information related to the case.


After studying the case, lessons learned were identified first. Then, the research team determined the processes that were used in the rapid bridge replacements and the needed improvements so that the research community could investigate new technologies to advance current practices.


The lessons learned could be of benefit to government agencies who are responsible for development of the enhanced emergency response plans for highway bridges, and engineering and construction communities who are responsible for design and reconstruction of the damaged bridges. The development of new technologies, if successful, will ultimately enhance the capability of rapid bridge replacement after extreme events.


Accepted version. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 14, No. 4 (2007): 375-386. DOI. © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Used with permission.

Yong Bai was affiliated with the University of Kansas at the time of publication.

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