Development of Guidelines for Uniform Service Life Design for Bridges

There is limited experience in the state departments of transportation (DOTs) with rational design for service life. A few notable large signature bridges have been designed for specific service life criteria. But, most agencies rely on subjective evaluation of perceived successful practices for identification and assessment of design alternatives to improve service life. The Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) has developed a Guide for Service Life under the project "Bridges for 100 Year Service." The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures maintains the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Specifications for Bridges as part of its responsibility to design and manage the nation's highway infrastructure. The LRFD Specifications contain requirements for strength design and some serviceability checks. However, there are no comprehensive guidelines for design for service life. A research project has just been completed by SHRP2 titled, R-19A, or "Bridges for 100 Year Service Life." That effort lays the groundwork for establishing recommendations for extending service life and could be useful in developing a process for assuring uniform service life of various bridge components and elements. However, there are some elements of a comprehensive process for service life design that were not included in the SHRP2 project, such as a computerized tool for comparing life-cycle costs of life-extending materials and detailing practices, life-extension technologies for post-tensioned concrete structures, and nationally recognized life-cycle cost parameters for the three major environmental categories: severely corrosive (coastal), moderately corrosive (deicing applications), or mild (dry areas). The research objective is to develop draft guidelines in AASHTO format for Uniform Service Life Design for bridges. There is an urgent need to develop and improve the current methods of bridge service life design. These improved methodologies will increase the reliability and effectiveness of highway bridges, leading to improved durability, safety, and more effective management of bridges in state and local inventories. The results of this research will provide guidelines suitable for implementation by state DOTs.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $300000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 12-108

  • 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

  • Start Date: 20150805
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40204

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572346
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 12-108
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2015 1:00AM