Processes and Techniques for Rapid Bridge Replacement after Extreme Events

Document Type


Publication Date



National Academy of Sciences

Source Publication

Transportation Research Record

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.3141/1991-07


Highway bridges, as critical components of the nation's transportation network, have received increased attention after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and subsequent potential threats to U.S. transportation systems. To respond to the potential threats on highway bridges, a pooled-fund research project was conducted to identify rapid bridge replacement processes and techniques after extreme events. These events include manufactured and natural disasters such as earthquakes, explosions, fires, floods, and hurricanes. To achieve the research objectives, the research team studied three cases of previous bridge replacements following extreme events. These cases are the I-40 Webbers Falls Bridge in Oklahoma, the I-95 Chester Creek Bridge in Pennsylvania, and the I-87 New York State Thruway Bridge in Yonkers, New York. By studying these cases, the research team first sought to identify and expand on lessons learned. Lessons learned from these cases benefit government agencies such as state departments of transportation, which are responsible for development of the enhanced emergency response plans for highway bridges, and the engineering and construction communities, which are responsible for design and reconstruction of the damaged bridges. Next, the research team determined the processes and techniques that were used in the rapid bridge replacements and outlined needed improvements so that the research community could investigate new technologies to advance current practices.


Transportation Research Record, No. 1991 (2007): 54-61. DOI.

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