A new bridge project began last month in Fairfield, Vermont that uses new technology to reduce construction time, save money, and help the Vermont Transportation Agency start more projects that are backlogged across the state. The ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology is part of Vermont’s accelerated bridge program that incorporates quick building design and other innovations to speed up the bridge building process. The system was developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in response to Tropical Storm Irene that hit the region several years ago. Vermont engineers found themselves unable to quickly repair or replace the many bridges that were damaged by the storm. Rather than taking months to complete a bridge using conventional methods, the ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology allows a new bridge to be finished in weeks.