Recognizing the need for a dedicated center for ABC, a group of renowned U.S. bridge engineering professionals gathered at FIU in Miami, Florida in November 2010. The group established – on a voluntary basis, without external funding and supported entirely by just $50,000 of seed funding from FIU – the Center for Accelerated Bridge Construction, with the objective of helping the bridge profession. The ABC Center at FIU officially commenced its activities in January of 2011, with a concentration on technology transfer of existing knowledge.
The ABC Center at FIU experienced immediate success. Beginning in March of 2011, the ABC Center at FIU offered free webinars on a monthly basis to engineers and other bridge professionals. These webinars attracted an average of 4,000 participants each month.
In September 2013 the US Department of Transportation awarded the Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC) proposal submitted by FIU and its initial partner universities (Iowa State University (ISU) and University of Nevada – Reno (UNR)). This first round funding of the ABC-UTC allowed the founders of the ABC Center at FIU to dive further into their mission of aiding the bridge profession by embarking on ABC-related research with emphasis on state of good repair, working to improve ABC workforce development, undertaking various educational activities and expanding the Center’s technology transfer activities. The ABC Center at FIU created a sturdy foundation on which to build the first UTC devoted solely to ABC, focusing on efficient bridge rehabilitation and rapid bridge replacement.
In December 2016 the USDOT awarded the ABC-UTC its second round of funding. This allowed the ABC-UTC to expand its capacity to provide solutions to the transportation industries needs at the national level with the inclusion of two additional partner universities: University of Washington (UW) and Oklahoma University (OU).