Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 49-03. Bridge Demolition Practices

Hundreds of bridges are reconstructed or replaced every year. The AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Bridge Design Specifications identify the minimum bridge design requirements, while the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Construction Specifications stipulate the bridge construction aspects. However, very limited information is available to guide the owner on how to approach deconstruction or the removal aspects of an existing bridge; each state approaches this differently. Unintentional events during bridge demolition can result in bodily harm, project delays, traffic disruptions, and in some instances loss of life. For example, last year two worker fatalities occurred on two separate occurrences due to the collapse of a bridge structure while undergoing demolition. Departments of transportation (DOTs) need to better understand how to manage these projects to reduce risks associated with bridge demolition. The objective of this synthesis is to document practices used by bridge owners to manage and administer bridge demolition in construction projects. The synthesis will explore specifications, design details, stability requirements, contractor submittal review/approval processes, contractor responsibility, owner oversight, and acceptance. The study will include information for partial, phased, and total bridge demolition. Information to be gathered includes, but is not limited to the following: (1) Owner’s existing policies, specifications, and special provisions to address bridge demolition activities. (2) Current provisions in the AASHTO Bridge Design and Construction Specifications that address bridge demolition. (3) Typical bridge demolition submittals, (drawings, calculations, sequence narratives, etc.) required by bridge owners. (4) Owner’s internal processes used to perform bridge demolition submittal reviews, including the level of review detail, reviewer(s) qualifications, and the types of acceptance. (5) Existing processes and methods used by the owner’s construction management engineer or field representatives to conduct oversight during demolition and protocols used to initiate and cease demolition activities. (6) Contractor feedback on the requirements, degree of review, assumption of risk, and oversight implemented and administered by owners for bridge demolition related activities. Information will be gathered through literature review, survey of state DOTs, interviews with selected contractors, and interviews with selected DOTs for case examples. The survey will be directed to state bridge engineers. An 80% survey response rate is required.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 49-03

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Gause, Jo

  • Performing Organizations:

    Collins Engineers, Inc.

    1599 Selby Ave.
    Suite 206
    St. Paul, MN  United States  55104
  • Principal Investigators:

    Garlich, Michael

  • Start Date: 20171114
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41607

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01634821
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 49-03
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 17 2017 1:01AM