Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - scheduling, infrastructure - track, mode - rail


Transportation industry, Transportation economics, Transportation, Transport economics, Transport, South Korea, Railroad bridges, Quality control, Product inspection, Precast concrete, Precast, Korean Train Express, Installing, Installation, High speed track, Fabrication, Elevated railroads, Economics, Design, Construction scheduling, Construction, Box girders


The Korean High-Speed Rail Project, Korean Train Express, has 109-m (67 mi) of bridges that comprise about 27% of the entire alignment. The successful construction of these bridges significantly affects overall project progress. To meet tight schedule and quality control standards, in addition to cost savings, contractors proposed the precast span method (PSM) versus the original girder designs on some segments of the line. This first application of PSM to high-speed rail in Korea has posed some challenges: design requirements for high-speed railway bridges are stricter than those for road bridges because of stringent deformation requirements. The adoption of PSM girders has improved the construction quality and schedule. PSM requires no falsework and is not limited by ground and weather conditions, thus being well suited for the construction of long viaducts under stringent budget and construction schedule requirements. With PSM, one full span of a precast-concrete box girder is manufactured in a casting yard, lifted by hydraulic jacks, transported with a special carrier, and placed by the launching girder into the final position. The PSM units are then tied into two or three 25-m (82-ft) or continuous spans using cast-in-place concrete in place of concrete and posttensioning. The contractors manufactured the PSM girders in a temporary manufacturing facility and reduced the installation cycle time for one 25-m (82-ft) long box girder to 1 1/2 days. The design, fabrication, transportation, and installation of the box girders for the Korean high-speed railway viaducts with PSM are discussed. Project and economic implications of PSM are compared with the movable scaffolding system method.