Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 51-13. Load Rating of Bridges and Culverts with Missing or Incomplete As-Built Information

Lack of as-built information for bridges and culverts is a problem that many state departments of transportation (DOTs) are facing across the nation. Analytical load-rating of bridges and culverts can only be successfully performed with complete information of the structure’s as-built composition. When missing as-built information, conservative assumptions are often used, which can result in load postings with economic and logistical implications. There is uncertainty about the level of uniformity in the way different DOTs approach the problem of load rating the structures with missing or incomplete plans. In a recent survey, the majority of surveyed states reported more than 100 bridges with missing plans in their inventory. In some of the surveyed states, bridges with missing as-built plans exceed 25% of the total bridge inventory. The methods used to obtain missing information vary significantly between different jurisdictions. Employed methods range from diagnostic and/or proof load testing, using engineering judgement, a range of non-destructive testing techniques to determine materials and geometrical properties, to utilizing conservative assumptions. The objective of this synthesis is to document current practices for load rating of bridges and culverts with missing or incomplete as-built plans used by DOTs. Information will be collected through a literature review, a survey of DOTs (possibly through the AASHTO Committee on Bridges and Structures) and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.


  • English


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

    Project 20-05, Topic 51-13

  • 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:

    Zwahlen, Tanya

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Delaware, Newark

    College of Engineering
    Newark, DE  United States  19711
  • Principal Investigators:

    Shenton, Harry

  • Start Date: 20190925
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01704616
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 51-13
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 13 2019 8:37PM