Precast concrete has long been a staple of our nation’s infrastructure. Thanks to its durability, dependability, quality and ease of installation, DOTs have used it for a wide range of applications, including walls, bridges, barriers and more.
While some precast elements dutifully do their job but go largely unnoticed as they blend into roadway landscapes, others stand out thanks to integral colors, unique shapes, insets and finishes that give them a dual purpose.
These components are much more than just dependable infrastructure. In Florida, for example, highway sound walls now come to life with inset regional wildlife such as manatees, alligators, fish and flamingos. Other states have chosen designs that reflect the surrounding aesthetics such as natural stone, wood texture or brick.
With precast concrete, you get the desired look paired with a long service life and fast installation. And many times precast concrete can be put into place in a fraction of the time of competing materials. One example is a soundwall system released recently by an NPCA member with an integrated column that serves as the foundation for the wall as well as the panel joint. Many variations of form-finished MSE and retaining walls are also available from precast manufactures across the country.
When it comes to bridges, precast concrete can convey a community’s architectural style, protect the environment, and span everything from gullies to gorges. Whether the product you need is a short-span bridge or a comprehensive solution that can traverse a major river, precast can provide the attractive, long-lasting design you need. A story in our Fall 2011 issue of Precast Solutions highlighted one such bridge in NJ.
Across the map, State DOTs and road agencies are gaining public approval and strong support for custom precast infrastructure. See more of what precast concrete can do for you.