The rebuilding of the 14th street bridge (2007-2009) has been a high-profile construction project in the heart of Atlanta. The project location is within the "Atlanta Connector" where two major interstate highways meet (I-75/I-85). Several tens of thousands of cars pass underneath the bridge every day. Before its demolition, the bridge was also heavily used by people traveling from Midtown to Atlantic Station and vice versa, two areas of the city that have seen tremendous growth in population and business in recent years. Construction finished 4 months ahead of the scheduled completion. More explanations to the research project are given below.
Since the old 14th street bridge simply did not meet today's traffic demand, redesigning and rebuilding most of the entire area surrounding and including the bridge was the only solution. Of particular interest is the fact that this project is located at the doorsteps of the Georgia Institute of Technology, making it an accessible construction project for field trips and research projects of civil engineering students and researchers. The assistance of the general contractor, C.W. Matthews Inc. was greatly appreciated.
As part of education and research projects, a high-resolution automated construction web camera was installed on top of the roof of the nearby Marriott hotel that allowed overseeing the project and monitoring its progress with a new image every 10 minutes.
The camera project was financially supported by OxBlue Inc., CW Matthews Inc., the Atlanta Midtown Alliance (all supporting camera hardware and operation), and the RAPIDS construction laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology (being the camera owner and providing student time). In addition, Assistant Professor Jochen Teizer and his graduate students, conducted field interviews to measure how well and for what the camera technology is being used by field professionals. A survey to more than 1,200 construction cameras users was conducted to collect even more data. A detailed cost-benefit analysis on the use of construction cameras was the final product of this research study. This effort was also assisted through remote 3D laser scanning equipment (a surveying instrument that supplies a virtual model of the bridge) supplied by Leica Geosystems Inc. The construction site was used for several field trials and research projects partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (#0800858 - SmartHat: Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology for Hazard Avoidance and Training) and the Construction Industry Institute (CII) (RT 269 - Real-time Pro-Active Safety in Construction).