Top 5 New Advanced Technologies for Bridge Design

December 29, 2020

Top 5 New Advanced Technologies for Bridge Design and Construction


1. Building Information Modeling (BIM)

2. Innovative new construction materials for bridges

3. Smart Construction

4. Prefabrication

5. Powerful Computer-Aided Software


With rapid development of new technologies and materials, there has been major changes in how bridges are designed. In the past, engineers did not have the tools or software to provide accurate models or detailed analysis of bridges. However, with today’s advancement in technology, new advanced construction methods, materials, tools, and software are now available for bridge engineers.

In this post, we have listed up the Top 5 New advanced technologies for Bridge design and Construction. We hope this information is rewarding and entertaining for you. Enjoy reading!



1. Building Information Modeling (BIM)


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is referred to as a process that connects architects, engineers, and construction (AEC) professionals more efficiently in the various stages of construction. With BIM technology, engineers and designers create 3-D models that include data ranging from the physical characteristics all the way to the functional characteristics of a building. This information engages architects, engineers, and construction professionals in a multi-disciplinary collaboration for better insight into the project they are working on.


For bridge design and construction, midas CIM (Civil Information Management System) provides the world’s first BrIM (Bridge Information Modeling). This BIM technology generates instant and accurate outcomes for all phases of the project. Furthermore, it provides an integrated platform that connects modelers, constructors, drafters, designers, and engineers in one single model. Lastly, it is currently the only solution that can effectively reduce inefficiencies in cost, time, and communication discrepancies caused by design changes.


midas CIM


2. Innovative new construction materials for bridges


New construction materials are emerging in the field of civil engineering. One of the most innovative construction materials considered today for bridge design is self-healing concrete. Through the life-cycle of concrete and due to the various loads occurring in bridges, concrete is prone to cracking. However, new concrete mixtures that include limestone-producing bacteria are being developed which fill the cracks as they form. This new innovative technology can prevent costly damages that can occur if cracks in concrete are not filled or repaired.

Innovative new construction materials for bridges

Furthermore, natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tornados, are one of the most important factors to consider when designing bridges. The damages generated by these seismic and wind loads create irreversible damages to the different structural elements of bridges, which in the future require very costly repairs. However, new construction materials are now being used in order to avoid such issues. One of these materials is Superelastic Reinforcement. This material, also known as a shape memory alloy (SMAs), is used in replacement of the original steel reinforcement commonly used in reinforced concrete. When steel reinforcement in concrete is subject to stresses causing it to deform beyond its yield point, it will become permanently deformed and will not return to its original shape. On the other hand, superelastic SMAs return to their original shape even after being subjected to high stresses.




3.Smart Construction


Today, digital technology is rapidly influencing and transforming the construction industry. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Drones, Site Robots, and other smart construction techniques and concepts are now being applied in every construction site. This is not an exception for bridges. One of the most frequently implemented smart construction technologies used in bridge design are drones with LIDAR sensors and GPS tracking. By using these drones, bridge engineers are able to pinpoint the exact location on which the bridge will stand, significantly minimizing errors.


Today, it is necessary to provide efficient supervisory control and structural health monitoring for bridges in case any unprecedented problem arises. Today, with the advancements in technology, it is possible to keep track of anything happening on bridges. To set an example, Kuwait’s Sheikh Japer al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway incorporated the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system into their bridge system. This system includes cameras to track traffic movements in case an emergency happens. Furthermore, it incorporates condition monitoring, damage, or crack detection in its concrete and steel structures, and provides overall structural health monitoring of the bridge.



4. Prefabrication


The bridge construction industry today faces a lot of challenges, including weather conditions, complying with quality assurance, site complications, etc. In order to address these issues, bridge structural members, such as decks, are constructed off-site, in a controlled environment. One example is the Precast Concrete (PC) Method. In this method, the decks of the bridges are manufactured in advance at a factory off-site, and then transported to the site for assembly. This method greatly reduces construction time and assures quality, thus, increasing efficiency.



5. Powerful Computer-Aided Software


As bridge design become more complicated, powerful, all-in-one computer-aided software programs are needed. These software programs must be able to process complex modeling challenges and also process complicated structural analysis including finite element analysis (FEA), Time History Analysis, etc.

midas Civil is considered a state-of-the-art engineering software that sets new standards for bridge design and analysis. It provides a user-friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI), intuitive and unique modeling tools, specialization in high-end structural analysis, powerful post-processor functions, and various design check and loads classification features. By using powerful software such as midas Civil, bridge engineers will be able to completely reduce modeling and analysis errors and also provide more accurate and reliable bridge design models for customers.

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About author
Greg Lee | Junior CAE Consultant | MIDAS IT HQ

Has multiple years of experience consulting structural, civil engineers around the world. Provides the best possible lectures and workshops to help engineers learn how to accomplish project with midas Civil in the fastest and easiest way. 

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