Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 52-03. State DOT Practices for Evaluating Bridge Surface Smoothness

Highway structures are one of the most expensive and important assets transportation agencies own and maintain. The travelling public prefers to travel across smooth riding highways yet the ride across bridges are too often some of the roughest portions of the highway network. Rough bridge surfaces can produce the following negative impacts: (1) Increase in vehicle user costs by accumulative wear and tear on vehicles; (2) Increase in freight cost resulting from additional damage to goods or packaging costs; (3) Potential safety concerns with non-uniform tire loads; (4) Decrease of the life of a structure by increasing dynamic loads; and (5) Reduction of user satisfaction. The objective of this synthesis is to document department of transportation (DOT) practices for evaluating bridge surface smoothness. Information gathered includes (but is not limited to): equipment utilized for evaluating bridge smoothness, index used to evaluate the smoothness, length limits of applying bridge smoothness, acceptance thresholds, localized roughness thresholds, and funding mechanisms. Information will be collected via literature review, a survey of DOTs, 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: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 52-03

  • 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:

    Welch-Ross, Melissa

  • Start Date: 20200922
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739557
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 52-03
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 18 2020 3:06PM