Precast concrete beams that are forming the foundation for a Dallas park in the air space above a busy downtown freeway may be structural “magic” but there’s nothing “presto” about the precision engineering involved in this $110 million undertaking.
Work is continuing on the oldest uncompleted highway project in Tennessee this spring with the ongoing construction of the Foothills Parkway, a scenic, high-elevation drive near the northwest boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park above Chilhowee Lake. Currently, just over 22 miles (35 km) of the Parkway are complete and open for travel. The byway provides breathtaking vistas both eastward into the Smokies and westward into the Tennessee foothills.
To imagine a world without motor vehicles today is almost unfathomable, but the automobile could never have made an impact without a proper network. Streets, highways, interstates and the focus of this issue, bridges, connect us and make vehicle transportation possible.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration and AASHTO’s Technology and Implementation Group are championing precast concrete pavement systems (PCPSs) as part of their Highways for Life program. PCPSs fit well with the goals of the program, which are to promote construction methods that reduce traffic congestion, reduce project duration, increase safety and produce durable repairs.
Precast concrete provides a solution for all of these needs and, as a result, is becoming a go-to product for various applications in residential construction. The concept of using precast for home building is not new, but it has never been closer to reaching the forefront than now.
Barcode technology in the precast industry works just like it does in retail stores: A scanner reads a barcode label attached to a cured concrete product, which then accesses a computer database for information. It is an easy and cost-effective way to implement product and data tracking into your everyday inventory.
Problem: A utility manhole is installed in an area with an unexpected high water table. The sump hole through the bottom slab allows a constant 2 ft (0.6 m) of water inside the manhole, preventing installation of equipment. How can the hole be sealed?
Whenever you have something inspected, there’s a natural tendency to want the inspection to occur at the latest stage of the process in order to measure performance in its final position.