Oct 23, 2015

Railroad Construction Co., Inc. is working on a cutting-edge project at Rutgers University’s Livingston Campus in Piscataway, NJ.  This innovative project for the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) involves the construction of an accelerated testing facility to measure the effects of environmental and traffic loading on bridges.  This Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing lab, known as the BEAST, is the first of its kind. 

The BEAST will be capable of simulating fifteen years of wear and tear on various bridge components (i.e.-superstructures, deck systems, concrete mixes and safety devices) in just 6 months.  Its capabilities will include testing oversized loads, testing 48,000 traffic loading cycles per day, measuring the effects of extreme temperatures and determining the effects of salt / brine application on bridge surfaces.  The ability to “compress time” to speed up the deterioration process will provide both insight and empirical evidence into the life cycle of bridges sooner than ever thought possible.   

This press release was issued by CAIT regarding the project:

Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) is unveiling the first facility in the world to quantitatively analyze the effects of environmental and traffic loading on full-scale, real-world bridge systems and do so in an extremely compressed time frame:  the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing lab, aka the BEAST.  This system will provide a wealth of data on bridge performance and longevity by simulating fifteen years of wear-and-tear in just six months.

The BEAST was designed and constructed through collaboration and equal investments by the Federal Highway Administration–New Jersey Division, New Jersey Department of Transportation and Rutgers CAIT and School of Engineering.  It will give bridge owners critical, quantitative data now, rather than 15, 20 or even 30 years from now, so they can make optimal decisions regarding design, materials, rehabilitation methods and more. Ultimately, what the BEAST can teach us will improve public safety, facilitate U.S. commerce and economic growth and save potentially billions of dollars in infrastructure costs.

Our portion of the project includes a wide variety of work disciplines including site work, excavation and backfill, bituminous pavement, concrete foundations and slab on grade, structural steel festoon support system and installation of the rail systems that the BEAST will ride on.  In addition, our contract includes construction of support structure accessory buildings and electrical service delivery consisting of duct banks, 1200 amp service and various conduit raceways.

This exciting project is scheduled for completion in late spring.  Railroad Construction Co., Inc. is proud to be a part of this groundbreaking effort.  We wish to thank Mark Kinn-Gurzon, Andres Roda, Mark Longo, Mark Wargo and Allison Thomas of Rutgers,  David Conger, Tim Hall and Jody McDonald of Dubois & King and David Timian and Jason Rittenhour of ARA.