Bridge Engineering Center awarded $2.1 million grant as partner in US DOT University Transportation Center

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December 12, 2016
Head and shoulders photo of Brent Phares
Brent Phares, Bridge Engineering Center director

The Bridge Engineering Center (BEC) at Iowa State University has again received a major U.S. Department of Transportation grant as a partner in a Tier I University Transportation Center that will address an important infrastructure challenge facing the nation.

The $2.1 million, five-year grant will be used to conduct research and participate in technology transfer and workforce development activities in accelerated bridge construction.

“The grant allows us to expand our team of staff and students who can now do even more transformative scholarly work in accelerated bridge construction,” said Brent Phares, BEC director. “It also will allow us to get new, state-of-the-art bridge technologies into practice much more quickly.”

The BEC will partner with Florida International University, the lead institution, and the University of Nevada-Reno, University of Oklahoma, and University of Washington in the grant.

Accelerated bridge construction technologies not only lessen the time required to build new bridges or reconstruct existing ones, they also enhance safety and mobility, and result in longer-lasting bridges.

Phares said accelerated bridge construction practices are needed to repair or replace aging bridges and structures. A significant portion of the existing U.S. roadway system was built more than 50 years ago and is showing signs of increasing deterioration. In addition, most U.S. roadways were designed to carry much less traffic than the current levels of service.

The 2016 University Transportation Center grant marks the second consecutive time the BEC has earned the U.S. DOT award. The BEC is a member of ISU’s Institute for Transportation.

The U.S. DOT’s University Transportation Centers program awards and administers grants to consortia of colleges and universities across the United States to advance the state-of-the-art in transportation research and technology, and develops the next generation of transportation professionals.

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