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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD2013-06


Title: Structure Alternatives for Local Roads
Project Researcher: Allen Jones, SDSU
Project Manager:
Research Period: 12/2/2014 -
Status:
Cost: $49,998.00

Problem Statement:South Dakota local governments own 1,959 bridges 40 feet or less in length and nearly half need replacement soon. The South Dakota Department of Transportation’s Local Government Assistance office provides local governments access to federal funding, technical expertise, and administrative assistance with bridge replacement projects, but current funding limits only allow assistance with approximately 30 bridge replacements statewide per year. Local government bridge replacement projects funded with federal aid must comply with current SDDOT design standards and federal regulations. Some federal requirements significantly increase a project’s construction time and cost, but if federal funds are not used, short span bridge projects could waive some requirements and potentially have significantly lower cost without compromising safety, structural capacity, or durability. Due to current federal funding limitations and increasing replacement needs, local governments are forced to make selective replacement decisions and delay many other bridge replacements by imposing load limits and closing bridges. Once the Local Government Assistance office has helped program a local bridge in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), there is up to a ten year wait before a bridge will be replaced. Knowledge of available alternatives and construction planning processes holds potential for South Dakota local governments to replace more structurally deficient local bridges with limited funds. Research is needed to develop guidance identifying applicable South Dakota local government bridge construction techniques, materials, and construction planning and administration process requirements to enable South Dakota local governments to more efficiently and cost effectively replace short span bridges.

Findings:

Research Objectives:
1  Develop a catalog describing locally available bridge construction techniques and materials that can be performed by local contractors and local government workforces.
1  Develop a catalog describing locally available bridge construction techniques and materials that can be performed by local contractors and local government workforces.
2  Develop construction planning and administration process guidance for local government bridge replacement.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the technical panel to review the project scope and work plan.
2  Through literature review and surveys of other DOT’s local government assistance offices, identify low life-cycle cost, innovative bridge construction materials and techniques that perform well and are applicable in South Dakota.
3  Identify construction techniques and materials available by contacting fabricators, suppliers, and the South Dakota Associated General Contractors Structures Task Group.
4  Develop a catalog describing construction techniques and materials applicable to local government bridge construction that can be constructed by local contractors and local government forces in South Dakota.
5  Prepare a technical memorandum, to be reviewed by the technical panel, summarizing results of Tasks 2 through 4.
6  Summarize installation, durability, maintenance needs, and any pertinent factors associated with catalogued construction techniques and materials applicable to South Dakota local government bridge construction.
7  Estimate agency costs of materials and techniques described in the catalog.
8  Prepare a technical memorandum, to be reviewed by the technical panel, summarizing results of Tasks 6 and 7.
9  Identify the construction planning and administration process requirements allowing local governments to replace structures without SDDOT assistance by interviewing the Grant County Highway Department, SDDOT Local Government Assistance office, and Federal Highway Administration Bridge personnel.
10  Develop a simple evaluation procedure—including a checklist of construction planning and administration process requirements—to allow selection of the appropriate construction techniques and materials for local government bridges.
11  Prepare a technical memorandum, to be reviewed by the technical panel, summarizing the evaluation procedure and check list of construction planning and administration process requirements.
12  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
13  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:
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