Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 53-13. Practices for Steel Bridge Fabrication and Erection Tolerances

Research on tolerances for prefabricated elements used in accelerated bridge construction was completed under NCHRP Project 12-98: “Recommended Guidelines for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems Tolerances and Dynamic Effects of Bridge Moves”. The majority of the work covered precast concrete elements for bridges such as decks, substructure elements, and wall elements. Typical steel bridge elements were not covered because the majority of prefabri-cated elements used to date have been precast concrete. NCHRP Project 12-98 also did not in-clude traditional prefabricated elements such as steel and concrete girders, since there are already specifications for tolerances for these elements NCHRP Project 12-98 research found that large tolerances cause problems with member connections. In precast concrete, large element tolerances require large joints in order to accommodate the tolerances. The AASHTO/National Steel Bridge Alliance Steel Bridge Collaboration group has noted that the use of oversize holes can lead to loss of overall structure geometry and fit-up problems during erection. Tolerances in steel fabrication require special processes such as shop blocking beams to drill field splices to ensure proper fit-up. Some state departments of transportation (DOTs) require full shop erection and fit-up to resolve tolerance issues in connections. The purpose of this proposed synthesis is to document current state DOT practices of tolerance management for steel bridge elements.


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

    Project 20-05, Topic 53-13

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    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

  • Start Date: 20210430
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01771602
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 53-13
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 17 2021 3:14PM