Little Ivy Creek Bridge Replacement using Accelerated Bridge Construction Methods; The Societal Repercussions of Haste in the American Innovation Model

Saint-Jean, Edler, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Gomez, Jose, EN-Eng Sys and Environment EN-Center for Transportation Studies, University of Virginia
Burden, Lindsay, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

This thesis reflects on the speed of innovation in America and the motives behind new development, while taking a look into the technical topic, Accelerated Bridge Construction, specifically represented by a case study of the Florida International University bridge collapse on March 15, 2018. By analyzing America’s model for innovation, along with the FIU case study, and comparing it to that of China, this thesis intends to provide a juxtaposition of not only construction in China and the US, but also the difference in values between the two societies. In its capitalistic economy, the US continues to be at the top of global innovation, but lacks in production, rendering this current model inefficient. The thesis explores some of the different societal effects due to rapid/uncontrolled innovation and the emphasis of profit in American technology. It aims to shed light on the detriment caused by a society with a sweet tooth for new shiny things. The thesis also relies on several notable pieces of work and projects which I use to unpack the American standard and provide comparison of recent Chinese and American innovation in construction, more specifically, bridge building.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
US innovation, slow technology, social acceleration, technological advancement

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Technical Advisor: Jose P. Gomez, Lindsay Ivey-Burden
STS Advisor: Tsai-Hsuan Ku
Technical Team Members: Avery Davis, Beau Gutridge, Ben Redfern, Collin Shepard, Jacob Hegemier, Miguel Ricardo de Obaldia, Sam Cave, Tommy Blankinship, Marc Michaud

Issued Date: