New Benicia-Martinez Bridge

The ABCs of Prestressed Concrete Bridge Design

The ABCs of Prestressed Concrete Bridge Design

TYLin has a long and storied history with the development and standardization of prestressed concrete and bridge design. Our founder, Tung-Yen Lin, literally wrote the book on prestressed concrete structures, greatly simplifying the design process for the material.

Carrying on in that tradition, senior project manager from our bridge team, Jay Holombo, PhD, PE, presented the Caltrans Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) Manual at the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) West Prestressed Concrete Bridge Design 3-Day Workshop in early November 2022. TYLin was instrumental in the compilation and authorship of the manual with contributions from Jay and his colleagues, Kumar Ghosh, George Rowe, Bala Sivakumar, and Michelle D’Souza.

The manual was created to reflect the state of the practice for conventional bridges and is designed to be applicable beyond southwestern states. It is built on California’s requirements but incorporates over 20 years of lessons learned and best practices from across the United States and serves as a companion to AASHTO’s Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Guide Specifications.


The manual is broken down into six chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction orients the document with important definitions and explaining its relationship to the state’s strategic planning.
  • Chapter 2: Workflow outlines internal processes, procedures, and roles and responsibilities.
  • Chapter 3: Planning runs through how to determine if ABC is right for your project, based on project goals, and offering decision-making guidance. ABC methods and traffic management are discussed, along with communications, scheduling, procurement, and contract management.
  • Chapter 4: Design covers a comprehensive list of design considerations, including prefabricated bridge elements, lateral slide/slide-in construction, self-propelled modular transporters, and incremental launch methods.
  • Chapter 5: Construction talks about pre-bid meetings, handoffs, contractors, and design support.
  • Chapter 6: Resources details the research, industry publications, and websites that substantiate the manual.

The manual concludes with helpful appendices with five checklists for each phase of project development.

Jay also lent his experience and expertise to a panelist discussion, kicking of the session with provocative questions about determining optimum span size, girder handling and precast delivery considerations.

The conference brought government agencies in California and Nevada together with engineering professionals in the region to discuss how we can build and update bridge structures as part of their highway, port, and rail infrastructure programs. Prestressed bridge elements present a significant opportunity to deliver infrastructure programs that meet accelerated schedules.

Register with PCI West to view the complete presentation. Jay’s talk begins at the 1:30:00 mark.

The manual is also available for direct download.

Jay Holombo
Jay Holombo, PhD, PE
Senior Project Manager

Jay specializes in the development of innovative solutions for bridge and transportation-related structures projects, and he has a proven track record of leading highly motivated professionals to deliver projects within schedule and budgetary constraints.