Inspection and Management of Bridges with Fracture-Critical Details


Subjects addressed:

Inventory and Condition Assessment, Maintenance and Preservation

Topics addressed:

Management Information Systems

Asset types addressed:



Title: Inspection and Management of Bridges with Fracture-Critical Details
Resource type: Research Report
Year published: 2005
Publisher: Transportation Research Board

This synthesis may be useful to bridge owners and consulting engineers engaged in the design, inspection, and management of bridges with fracture-critical details, as a guide to present specifications and engineering judgment. It focuses on the inspection and maintenance of bridges with fracture-critical members (FCMs), as defined in the AASHTO "LRFD Bridge Design Specifications." The objectives of this report were to survey and identify gaps in the literature; determine practices and problems with how bridge owners define, identify, document, inspect, and manage bridges with fracture-critical details; and identify specific research needs. Among the areas examined were: inspection frequencies and procedures; methods for calculating remaining fatigue life; qualification, availability, and training of inspectors; cost of inspection programs; instances where inspection programs prevented failures; retrofit techniques; fabrication methods and inspections; and experience with FCM fractures and problems details. This synthesis contains information obtained from a survey distributed to bridge owners and consultant inspectors (72 state, provincial, and international departments of transportation and agencies), a literature search, and targeted interviews. Useful responses were received from 34 states and three Canadian provinces.