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New and emerging technologies in construction develop at a rapid pace, making for some major changes in bridge design. They offer engineers more accurate models and detailed analyses of bridges and other projects, making for more advanced construction methods and design software.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite advanced technologies in construction that are great for bridge design and construction!

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Building Information Modeling (BIM) pairs architects with engineers and construction professionals. This allows for more efficient communication and collaboration throughout the stages of construction. BIM enables engineers and designers to create 3D models that include a bounty of data, from the physical characteristics of a bridge to its functional features.

MIDAS CIM, developed by MIDAS IT, is the world’s first BrIM (Bridge Information Modeling). This is an extension of a BIM that can generate instant and accurate outcomes for all phases of a project. It also provides an integrated platform that connects modelers, constructors, drafters, designers, and engineers in one sole model. It’s currently the only solution that can effectively reduce inefficiencies in cost, time, and communication that a design change can disrupt.

New Construction Materials

With new construction materials, the landscape of bridge construction is vastly different than it was decades ago. One of the newest and best materials for bridge design is self-healing concrete. Traditional concrete is highly susceptible to cracking. However, new concrete mixtures can fill themselves with the help of limestone-producing bacteria that can occupy the cracks of concrete as they form. This will prevent costly damage brought on by unfixed cracks.

Besides concrete cracks, natural disasters are a crucial aspect of consideration for bridge designers. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes all impose irreversible damage to different structural elements of bridges. This is costly, however, the advent of new construction materials can skirt these costs.

One such material that is still under research is Superelastic Reinforcement, a shape memory alloy that can return to its original shape even after high stress.

Smart Construction

Smart technology is tremendously impacting the construction industry. This is because the likes of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), drones, site robots, and other construction techniques are now the new norm at every construction site. Bridge construction is no exception. With the help of LiDAR sensors and GPS tracking, bridge engineers can identify the precise location where a bridge will stand, thus greatly minimizing errors.

With today’s technologies in construction, it’s possible to keep track of anything and everything happening on bridges. For example, Kuwait’s Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway included the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) in its bridge system. The system includes traffic cameras to track movements in the case of an emergency. It also incorporates systems for condition monitoring, and crack detection in its concrete and steel structures to provide overall structural health monitoring.

Computer-Aided Software

Bridge design gets more complicated and powerful as time goes on. Because of this, all-in-one computer-aided software programs are necessary. The software programs must be able to process complex modeling challenges and in-depth structural analyses.

Powerful software with a user-friendly user interface (UI) and intuitive modeling tools will allow bridge engineers to reduce modeling and analysis errors. This will provide a more accurate and reliable bridge design.

Build the Future with U.S. Bridge

U.S. Bridge uses the best materials and methods to create strong and reliable bridges quickly in the industry. We pride ourselves on our broad selection of prefabricated bridge styles and our signature bridge designs that can meet your project needs and leave a lasting impression.

Not to mention, our easy-to-use Bridgescope tool allows anyone to customize their bridge design and get a head start on their projects! Contact us today for any questions or bridge inquiries.

A large-scale construction project can easily take hundreds of people from different trades to complete. But how do so many different individuals from various skills and backgrounds, work together to finish a job on time? Here are some ways to consider to improve collaboration in your construction projects.

Poor Communication Has Consequences

We all know that poor communication causes misunderstandings and can set work back in any field. But how significant is poor collaboration in an industry like construction?

Well, without a well-thought-out plan, every phase of the construction project will suffer. Poor collaboration will lead to misunderstandings, slow turnaround times, errors, and wasted time. Every delay can open the door to a number of claims or expensive penalties depending on the type of project and contract.

Investing in ways to improve collaboration can preemptively avoid these situations.

Ways to Improve Collaboration

Start at the Beginning

Every project starts with a roadmap. Use the early planning stages to bring together key players, discuss project details, establish everyone’s roles, and define expectations. Even though this may seem fundamental, it’s important that individuals feel that the project allows and insists on open communication. This will help foster better work relations among crew members and make collaboration easier.

Not to mention, this makes it easier along the way to develop plans to handle any issues that may arise.

Look for Collaborative Tools

With the rise of technology in construction, there are so many different digital tools that can help improve collaboration. Investing in a digital platform can keep your team organized, make task management more efficient, and help coordinate schedules between various employees.

There are a lot of cloud-based collaborative management systems designed for the construction industry such as Procore, PM Web, Prolog, Expedition, BuilderTrend, and Viewpoint. Users will have access to project information, make changes, and share files easily with internet access.

Plus, these systems can help track the completion of different areas of the project. That way, each team knows how far along the others are and can use that information to make decisions about their own work. This will streamline the communication process and make back and forth exchanges easier and faster. Not only would this save you time and effort but it also holds teams accountable for their work.

With so many different options available, it’ll be easier to choose a system that works best for you and your team.

Invest Now & Save Time and Money Later

Although it may be a higher initial cost to incorporate methods of improving collaboration, it’s worth it in the end. A successful project collaboration allows you to reduce inefficacies in manpower, money, time, better on-time project delivery, better company reputation, and higher ROI.

In fact, a report discovered that “companies that build high levels of trust can save millions of dollars annually from benefits that include lower turnover rates, fewer missed schedules, and more repeat business”.

Work Smarter with U.S. Bridge

Our 80 years of construction experience is why we can handle construction projects of various caliber. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise is just what you’re looking for to complete your project! 

Contact us for a free quote or check our exclusive Bridge Scope tool to start building your project today.