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Recent years have witnessed growing interest in accelerated highway construction as an answer to the need to reconstruct major highways while minimizing delay and community disruption. "Accelerated construction," however, is not a traditional product or technology. Rather, it is an approach to highway construction employing many different techniques and technologies. Such a non-traditional product requires a non-traditional implementation plan. In addition to simply building things faster, current concepts of accelerated construction imply planning and design for a highway corridor comprised of several related projects so that planning and design decisions are made in an environment that provides maximum flexibility. Also implied are the use of innovative contracting procedures and extended life for the finished project.
Concepts, ideas and approaches must be defined if plans to implement them into highway engineering practice are to be fulfilled. The definition of accelerated construction for the purposes of implementation planning is: A process to encourage the use of innovative technologies and techniques to accelerate the construction of major highway projects with extended service lives for the purpose of reducing user delay and community disruption.
Such a process will bring to the attention of the highway community many innovations and research results currently available but not generally applied. It will also provide a mechanism for the introduction of future innovative techniques and technologies that may emerge from research, from a future Strategic Highway Research Program or from the FHWA Pavement Technology Program, for example.