The Construction Innovation Forum (CIF) has selected the University of Missouri-Rolla’s Greene County bridge project as one of eight finalists for the forum’s NOVA Award for Outstanding Innovation in Construction.
CIF is an international, non-profit organization formed in 1987 to encourage and recognize construction innovations and to increase awareness of those innovations where proven to be effective. The NOVA is CIF’s most distinguished honor, awarded by a jury of internationally recognized experts following an intense and thorough investigative process.
The three to six NOVA award-winning innovations will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the 2006 National Conference of Construction Owners in Tucson, Ariz.
Bridge 14802301, a 73-year-old bridge located on Farm Road 148 in Springfield, Mo., was in need of upgrade due to severe structural and functional inadequacy. Its replacement, having the state’s first bridge deck constructed using prefabricated glass fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement, opened to travelers in January 2006.
The new bridge and guardrail system was developed in a cooperative effort among UMR; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; industry members of the UMR NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center, including Strongwell Corp. and Hughes Brothers Inc.; and in coordination with the engineer-of-record, Great River Engineering, and contractor Hartman Construction of Springfield.
The replacement bridge, funded with a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, combines the corrosion resistance of FRP internal reinforcement with the speed of installation of lightweight, stay-in-place, modular FRP panels. This new technique promises to benefit bridge owners by minimizing maintenance costs and reducing disruption of traffic during construction.
Dr. Antonio Nanni, an expert in the development of new construction materials who joined UMR in 1997, has led the university’s research into how composite materials can be used to rehabilitate existing structures, as well as to construct new bridges. Nanni recently accepted a new position at the University of Miami.
The project research and development work and transition to the field application was coordinated by Fabio Matta, a doctoral student in structural engineering at UMR.