People have built bridges for thousands of years, and these structures have been used to transfer utilities such as water across rivers, valleys, and other vast spaces for almost as long.
Today, the bridge design, development, inspection, maintenance, and utility installation fields are changing at a faster pace than ever. New equipment, processes, and procedures have made it easier to get work done, build more beautiful, inspiring, and efficient bridge structures, and install utilities on them more effectively.
Sometimes it seems impossible to stay up to date on all the latest industry trends. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of helpful resources. It includes links to information on websites that will help you feel more confident that you’re staying current on everything that’s happening in the U.S. infrastructure and utility installation industries.
For tips on leveraging and growing your network in the infrastructure and utility industries, check out our post here.
This award-winning industry news resource has been in business for more than a century. (It includes a section dedicated to bridge construction). The publication reaches more than 60,000 industry professionals in print and over 55,000 receive its weekly email newsletter. It provides helpful information through articles, case studies, videos, education papers, webinars, live events, and more.
The publication offers engineers, contractors, and government officials information on the latest advancements in developing and maintaining roads and bridges, timely industry news, and cutting-edge product guidance. They also provide significant coverage on government, legal, and regulatory issues, along with information about industry associations.
This industry publication has in-depth sections on topics including equipment, business and software, safety and training, and education that people working in utility construction will find helpful. It also reports on the work the National Utility Contractors Association does on behalf of utility contractors in Washington.
This online guide provides information, including reviews, on tools and equipment used by utility installation workers every day. It covers everything from gloves to large-scale vehicles like trucks and lifts. It is a primary source of information for anyone who wants to stay current on the latest innovations in the fast-changing utility installation industry.
Did you know? Blogs often provide interesting perspectives on trends in the bridge construction and utility industries.
Associations and Organizations
AASHTO is a group that sets standards for highway design and construction across the United States. It publishes specifications, testing protocols, and guidelines used across the industry.
AASHTO membership is made up of people who work in the Departments of Transportation of each state, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The organization has been around for more than 100 years. It’s not a government entity, but it possesses some government-like powers because the firms that work with its members must obey its decisions.
AASHTO publishes a great deal of helpful information. They’re a primary resource for staying on top of regulations. They offer some particularly helpful publications about bridge inspections and design.
ACPA was founded more than 60 years ago. It’s the world’s largest trade association that represents businesses involved with the design, construction, and preservation of structures built using concrete pavement. They promote the interests of these companies to Congress, national trade associations, and business organizations. It supports significant research to improve the use of concrete on roadways and bridges. It’s worth checking out their site regularly.
This association was established in 1902 to advocate for investment in transportation infrastructure. It has more than 6,500 members in the public and private sectors. The portion of the transportation construction industry that ARTBA represents generates more than a half billion dollars in annual economic activity and helps maintain four million jobs in the United States.
Memberships are available for contractors, planning and design professionals, transportation officials, service business, public-private partnerships, researchers, educators, and equipment manufacturers. The association’s website includes a comprehensive calendar of industry events and webinars.
This nonprofit organization provides a forum for agencies, designers, contractors, and suppliers to improve the construction procedures associated with concrete segmental bridges. The group provides a vast array of information and runs many events, including an annual conference.
The central purpose of this organization is to promote roadway safety. It was founded in 1969 and now has more than 11,000 members, representing all aspects of the road, traffic, and highway safety fields. It advocates for new legislation and provides traffic control safety training.
Check out the training opportunities on the ATSSA website.
This trade association, founded almost 100 years ago, represents more than 6,500 general contractors and 9,000 specialty-contracting firms in the United States. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also affiliated with the organization. Its website includes a section with in-depth learning resources.
The AEM is a 900-plus-member organization that represents heavy equipment manufacturers in the United States. The group’s Construction Equipment Trends Index regularly publishes information that bridge contractors find helpful.
This group represents toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them across the globe. They use advocacy, thought leadership, and education to address critical infrastructure challenges. The association’s extensive resource library provides in-depth information on infrastructure funding.
This is the top utility construction industry organization in the United States. It represents utility contractors, excavators, suppliers, manufacturers, and others associated with the water, sewer, gas, electric, telecommunications, treatment plant, and excavation fields.
Its purpose is to improve the efficiency and performance of member companies. It also works to get government funding for America’s aging utility infrastructure.
Don’t miss out: Equipment suppliers are a valuable source of information about bridge and utility construction trends. Professional who work for them often know about the latest tools, processes, and procedures ahead of anyone else.
Conferences and Events
This is the top bridge industry conference for people all over the globe. It is run by the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania and attracts more than 1,200 bridge industry professionals, including engineers, policy makers, government officials, bridge designers, construction executives, and suppliers. It offers unparalleled continuing education and networking opportunities. This is the place to be to stay up to date on the latest trends.
This show, also known as The Demo Expo, is the top event for utility professionals and construction contractors to learn about the newest technologies, insights, and trends affecting their industries. Almost 1,000 manufactures participate in this exposition, and many of them allow attendees to test out equipment in real-world settings. This is a can’t-miss event if you want to learn about innovations in the utility contracting industry.
This conference is sponsored by the Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center of Florida International University. It offers information and workshops on accelerated bridge construction techniques. It’s a popular event for people who care about this growing segment of the industry.
One of the most popular industry trends is accelerated bridge construction. The Accelerated Bridge Construction program at Florida International University offers an interesting 45-minute introductory video about it as part of a continuing education program. This is worth checking out.
This group promotes excellence in design and construction using steel. It offers a comprehensive list of continuing education resources with both in-person and online opportunities. Many are appropriate for people working in the bridge and utility construction fields.
If you’re thinking about formally continuing your learning in the construction field, the ACCE is a great resource. For more than 40 years, the group has been an advocate for quality construction education. They review and accredit colleges and university programs to ensure they provide students with sound information from experienced instructors. Check out their list of schools across the country that make the grade.
This industry group advocates for quality education in the construction industry. It maintains a list of accredited schools and publishes a scholarly journal that includes white papers from leading industry educators.
This division of the U.S. Department of Transportation provides education and information on emerging topics, including 3D engineering, accelerated construction techniques, and developing peer networks. The site is a little challenging to navigate, but the information on it is worth the extra effort.
The purpose of this organization is to provide training on all aspects of transportation. They offer comprehensive continuing education on a multitude of topics. Check out the structure section, which includes many bridge-specific courses. You can even request personnel from the NHI to conduct a class at your workplace. This is an effective way to get your whole team up to speed on a topic.
Don’t forget: If you have questions about bridge construction or utility installation, experienced professionals can help. Reach out and get the help you need to stay up to date.