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Same technique that built collapsed Miami bridge used in Maine

Engineers say accelerated bridge construction has been used for several projects in Maine, including the new Winthrop Street Bridge, which opened last fall. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- The bridge that collapsed in Miami was being built using innovative technology, called "accelerated bridge construction," or ABC.

The method is designed to be faster and less risky.

Engineers say accelerated bridge construction has been used for several projects in Maine, including the new Winthrop Street Bridge, which opened last fall.

When you drive across a bridge, you probably don't think much about how it was built, but Executive Director of the Maine Turnpike Authority Peter Mills says people will notice when the bridge is closed.

“We do have these roads, and people need them every day, and we need them back for a while to rebuild them,” Mills said.

To help lessen traffic delays and disruptions, for the first time the turnpike used accelerated bridge construction or ABC to rebuild the Winthrop Street Bridge in Hallowell.

A project that would have taken more than five months was done in 45 days.

Bridge Engineer Kristi Van Ooyen was part of the project. She says ABC is a big umbrella term, referring to a variety of techniques.

In Florida, the main span was pre-fabricated and then moved into place.

In Winthrop, they used some pre-fabricated pieces to save time, combined with more conventional methods.

The Maine Department of Transportation says it uses some level of ABC on almost all its bridges to save onsite construction time, including the replacement of the Bath Viaduct.

According to a 2015 report from Georgia Southern University, "there's a high level of acceptance of ABC in Maine."

The DOT says it hasn't used the specific technique used in Florida on any project.

Engineers involved with projects in Maine say they'll be watching the investigation in Florida closely hoping to learn more about the cause of the collapse.

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