Bridge Superstructure Tolerance to Total and Differential Foundation Movements

Using loadings provided by the bridge designer, geotechnical engineers estimate foundation movements and report their findings to the bridge designer. The bridge designer will then design the structure to accommodate the anticipated total and differential movements to satisfy post-construction bridge performance requirements and to mitigate future maintenance issues. However, the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications do not provide clear criteria for movement limitations. The Specifications indicate that “the tolerable movement criteria shall be established by either empirical procedures or structural analyses or by consideration of both”. The bridge designer needs clear criteria and guidance to ensure more efficient bridge designs while protecting the short- and long-term integrity of structures. The objectives of this research were to (1) develop procedures to determine the acceptable levels of bridge foundation movements based upon superstructure tolerance to total and differential movements considering service and strength limit states, and (2) propose revisions to the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. Foundation movement limits include vertical, horizontal, and rotational movements. Geotechnical assessment of foundation total and differential movements is not required. The research agency’s final report that documents the entire research effort is available as NCHRP Web-Only Document 245: Bridge Superstructure Tolerance to Total and Differential Foundation Movement.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 12-103

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Performing Organizations:

    Rutgers University, Piscataway

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    623 Bowser Road
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854
  • Principal Investigators:

    Moon, Franklin

  • Start Date: 20131213
  • Expected Completion Date: 20171231
  • Actual Completion Date: 20171231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38193

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547405
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 12-103
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 9 2014 1:01AM