I have been looking at a number of different bridges and bridge types instead of focusing exclusively on ABC. To be honest it has been a little difficult to find good ABC information. (Hey somebody should start a blog! Ha!) When I typed in “Innovative Bridge” in google, I found this pdf showing the new “innovative” Bridge over Pungo Creek in Beaufort County, NC.
The pdf gives an overview of the steps to building their new bridge. I think the computer graphics are pretty good and they are using post tensioned deck panels, so I think it qualifies as an ABC bridge.
One thing that amazes me is how different each State DOT is looking at Accelerated Bridge Construction. It all comes down to leadership of course. I met Mr. McMinimee at a conference in Iowa and he has really placed Utah at the forefront of ABC.
I tried a “photorealistic” rendering of my new ABC precast bridge. I drew it up in Sketchup (free!), then rendered it in Kerythea (free!), then tried a HDR kinda thing with Photomatix ($40 bucks with edu discount) and finally played with it in Photoshop (Expensive). I think it looks okay but I have a way to go.
The bridge is going to be let in April and I have hopes that it will be installed in 5 days or less. Single span, precast everything (etc steel barrier rails) on steel piles.
I use STAAD quite a bit in my bridge designs and in my reinforced concrete design class. Its easy to use (well, depending on how good you are with computers and structural analysis..) and in the past I was able to get an educational version for $50 dollars. The educational version had a limitation of 25 nodes but that was enough nodes for most problems. You may be able to get some educational software still, try here. (They do have the CAD program Powerdraft for free download)
I recently asked the company that makes SAP, another structural analysis package, for an educational verison of their structural software and I was informed that they did not have any. So I can’t really say how their product works.
Both structural analysis packages should have educational versions of their software available for University students. I would imagine that whichever package I used in my class would be ingrained in the students as the right one to use and would provide future sales for the companies. Right now that package is STAAD.
I reviewed the West Point Bridge Design software when it first came out. (long time ago) It is a great free software package that teaches kids ( of all ages) the basics of designing a bridge. Right now they have a contest going on to see who can design the best bridge.
I highly recommend the software for anyone who is interested in designing bridges!