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Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program (2019)

Chapter: 2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded

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Suggested Citation:"2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25358.
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Suggested Citation:"2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25358.
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Suggested Citation:"2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25358.
×
Page 19
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Suggested Citation:"2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25358.
×
Page 20
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Suggested Citation:"2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25358.
×
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Suggested Citation:"2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25358.
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Page 22

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17 2 IBRC Program Administration, Technologies, and Projects Funded The first section below is a description of the administration of the Inno- vative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) program by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The second section describes the catego- ries of innovative materials and technologies applied in the projects funded by the program and the composition of the program in terms of grant amounts and numbers of projects by technology category and by state. LEGISLATION, FUNDING, AND ADMINISTRATION The relevant paragraphs of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Cen- tury (TEA-21), Section 5103, the 1998 legislation that created the IBRC program, are reproduced in Appendix A. The legislation specifies the seven goals of the program (noted in Chapter 1), administrative procedures, and funding authorized. IBRC was established as a discretionary grant program. FHWA issued an annual solicitation for applications for funding from state highway agen- cies. Applications were reviewed first by the FHWA division office in each state and then by a selection panel of FHWA headquarters staff from the Office of Bridge Technology and the Office of Infrastructure Research and Development. Projects were selected and grant amounts determined based on the criteria specified in the solicitation and in accordance with the law (FHWA 2005). FHWA issued the first solicitation for proposals for IBRC funding in July 1999. From the proposals received in response to the 1999 solicitation, it awarded grants totaling the combined amount Congress had authorized for 1998 and 1999.

18 PERFORMANCE OF BRIDGES The FHWA submission requirements for IBRC grant applications called for the following information (FHWA 2005, 3–4): • Priority ranking of the project with respect to other projects for which the state was applying for IBRC funding. • Location and description of the structure. • The innovative material to be used in the project, the specific ap- plication of the material proposed, and an explanation of how the application would meet one or more of the IBRC program goals. • Proposed letting date for the project. • Estimated costs: cost of the entire project; cost of the innovative portion of the project, including associated preliminary engineer- ing; and cost of proposed activities to monitor and document the performance of the innovative material application. • Amount of IBRC funds requested. • Commitment of other funds to the project. FHWA informed the states that in selecting and evaluating the applications, priority for funding would be given to projects that (FHWA 2005): • Met one or more of the goals of the program. • Incorporated innovative materials that are readily available. • Were ready for or near the construction phase. • Had designs that are repeatable or have widespread application. • Would leverage federal funds with other public or private resources. States were discouraged from submitting applications for projects that duplicated the innovative material application of a previous IBRC project in the state. FHWA also informed the states that “because the concept of equity was important in the development of TEA-21, project selection will also consider national geographic distribution among all of the discretionary programs as well as congressional direction or guidance provided on spe- cific projects or programs” (FHWA 2005). Grants usually covered 100 percent of the cost of the innovative com- ponent of the project, as identified by the state in its application, up to a limit set by FHWA, which for the final year of the program was $400,000. The limit was not absolute, and a few grants were larger than $400,000 (FHWA 2005). The proposal submission requirements refer to innovative materials, but not to innovative construction methods or to monitoring technology.

IBRC PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION 19 However, in its guidance for fiscal year (FY) 2005 applications, FHWA encouraged proposals for projects demonstrating use of bridge components designed for rapid installation and projects incorporating innovative tech- nology for bridge performance monitoring (FHWA 2005, 4). IBRC projects that incorporated accelerated bridge construction techniques became more frequent in the later years of the program. Nine projects that featured moni- toring technology as a principal innovation were identified. FHWA’s IBRC Summary Report states that “IBRC grant awardees were encouraged to monitor projects and provide documentation and per- formance data during and following construction” (FHWA 2008, 3), and states could apply for federal IBRC funding for monitoring (that is, for data collection to evaluate performance of innovative features over time). How- ever, the application did not require states to describe monitoring plans, and FHWA did not identify monitoring as a consideration in project selection. Total funding authorized in federal law for the IBRC program, as restricted by obligation limitations imposed on the federal-aid highway program, was $122 million for construction project grants and $7 million for research grants in FY 1998 through 2005 (FHWA 2008, 7). FHWA awarded grants to states for the full amount provided (see Table 2-1). FHWA made the first awards in 1999. The IBRC legislation required the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to “take such action as is necessary to ensure that the information and technology resulting from research conducted [with IBRC grants] … is made available to State and local transportation departments and other interested parties” (TEA-21, Section 5103). FHWA interpreted this require- ment to apply not only to the research grants under the program, but also to the construction grants that demonstrated the new technologies. FHWA created a website with program information, a resource library, and a database containing information on each project, including the innovative technologies used and bridge elements involved (FHWA 2008, 25–27). The website is no longer available. Apparently, no readily accessible repository of information about the IBRC projects exists. TABLE 2-1 IBRC Grants by FY FY 1998–1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Total Grants awarded ($ millions) 21.3 15.9 18.3 17.2 17.9 18.8 19.3 128.7 NOTE: Total amount includes approximately $7 million in grants for research projects. The remainder was for construction projects. SOURCE: FHWA 2008, 19.

20 PERFORMANCE OF BRIDGES TECHNOLOGIES APPLIED IN THE IBRC PROJECTS The FHWA rules for IBRC grant applications did not specify the innovative materials and technologies that would qualify for funding. Applicants could propose any material or technology and were to provide justification that the proposal met the goals of the program. The FHWA Summary Report contains a tabulation of the numbers of projects by 10 material categories, two “other innovative applications” categories, and an “other” category. FHWA also classified projects by the bridge element in which the material was applied (FHWA 2008, 24). The HDR review of the program classified projects by 11 technology categories (including a miscellaneous category) and 61 subcategories (HDR 2013, 665–729). The use of multiple innova- tive technologies in some individual projects complicates the classification of projects. To organize its analysis of the success of the IBRC projects in meeting the program’s goals and the utility of the projects’ innovative materials and technologies, the committee classified those materials and technologies in 17 categories. These include three types of concrete, five applications of FRP materials, six corrosion control technologies, high performance steel, accelerated bridge construction, and monitoring and instrumentation technology (see Table 2-2). Appendix B contains definitions of each of the technologies and examples of their use in IBRC projects. Project grants were awarded in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Dis- trict of Columbia (see Figure 2-1). Certain states, including several smaller states, were especially active in seeking participation in the program.

IBRC PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION 21 TABLE 2-2 IBRC Projects, Grant Amounts, and States with Projects by Technology Category IBRC Technology Number of Projects Using the Technology Total IBRC Grants ($ millions) Number of States with Projects Concrete: 31 37 1. High-performance concrete (HPC) 81 2. Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) 12 3. Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) 4 Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP): 55 30 4. Externally bonded FRP reinforcement 41 23 5. FRP deck elements 65 23 6. FRP superstructure elements (beams or girders) and appurtenances (rails, dolphins, impact guards) 28 7. FRP rebar 8. FRP prestressing tendons (strand or bar) 29 Corrosion control technologies: concrete reinforcement: 10 30 9. Low-chromium steel (ASTM A1035/1035M steel) rebar 19 10. Galvanized rebar 2 11. Stainless steel rebar (solid or clad) 29 Other (epoxy-coated rebar) 2 Corrosion control technologies: coating and anodes: 6 16 12. Metallizing 3 13. Cathodic protection anodes and electrochemical chloride extraction 6 14. Galvanic protection and other (paint systems, inert gas, Surtreat TPS, Al deck, deck overlay) 17 15. High-performance steel (HPS) 48 15 30 16. Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) 30 7 12 17. Monitoring and instrumentation technology 9 3 8 All Projects 128.7 NOTE: Some projects employed more than one technology. In such cases the project is in- cluded in the project count for each of the technologies employed; therefore, sums of project counts across categories are not meaningful. Project counts and grant amounts for individual technology categories are estimates based on the incomplete project grant information avail- able to the committee. In calculating the grant totals by technology category, grant amounts for multitechnology projects were divided equally among the technologies employed. SOURCES: Committee estimates based on FHWA n.d.a and HDR 2013.

22 PERFORMANCE OF BRIDGES FIGURE 2-1 Number of IBRC projects and amount of grants received by state. NOTE: Project counts and grant amounts are approximate because project informa- tion available to the committee was incomplete. SOURCES: FHWA n.d.a; HDR 2013. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 AK AZ DC MS AR TN WY MT ND NV PR RI CO HI ID SD FL GA IN MA MD NJ OK AL DE KS OR VT CT LA MN NM UT MI NE SC WA WI NH NC WV IL PA CA KY IA ME MO OH TX VA NY Number of IBRC Projects St at e 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 AK AZ DC MS AR TN WY MT ND NV PR RI CO HI ID SD FL GA IN MA MD NJ OK AL DE KS OR VT CT LA MN NM UT MI NE SC WA WI NH NC WV IL PA CA KY IA ME MO OH TX VA NY IBRC Grants Received ($ Millions) St at e

Next: 3 Highway Agency Experience with the IBRC Program »
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TRB Special Report 330: Performance of Bridges That Received Funding Under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program, examines the results of a federal program to promote innovation in highway bridge construction. The report provides recommendations to Congress on how the installed and life-cycle costs of bridges could be reduced through the use of innovative materials and technologies.

The Innovative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) program, created by act of Congress, provided state departments of transportation with a total of $128.7 million in grants as incentives for use of innovative materials and technology to construct or repair approximately 400 bridges from 1999 to 2005.

Materials used included fiber-reinforced polymer composites, high-performance concrete, high-performance steel, and corrosion resistant reinforcing bar. Projects also demonstrated accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques. Congress directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to commission the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to study the performance of the bridges that received funding in the IBRC program.

The committee that produced the report provides an analysis of the performance of bridges that received IBRC funding and the extent that they met the goals of the program. The committee also provides an analysis of the utility, compared to conventional materials and technologies, of the innovative materials and technologies used in IBRC projects in meeting needs for a sustainable and low life-cycle cost transportation system.

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