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Title: Load Rating Reinforced Concrete Bridges without Plans: State-of-the-Practice

Author(s): Rémy D. Lequesne and William N. Collins

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 342


Appears on pages(s): 80-97

Keywords: load rating, concrete, bridge, bridge with unknown details, NDE

DOI: 10.14359/51725938

Date: 6/1/2020

In response to Federal Highway Administration requirements, several states are in the process of ensuring all bridges within their inventories are load rated. A challenging aspect of this effort is load rating reinforced concrete bridges that have no structural plans when there are thousands of such structures within a state inventory. To inform these efforts, the literature was reviewed to identify existing methodologies and a survey was distributed to engineers at state departments of transportation throughout the United States to understand how practicing engineers approach this problem. The survey responses show there are numerous bridges in the U.S. without plans; over 25000 bridges without plans are located in the 18 states that provided responses. Concrete structures comprise 70% of such bridges. To load rate concrete bridges without plans, most responding states report primarily using engineering judgement, which may include reference to performance under existing traffic, era-specific design traffic loads, assumed material properties and reinforcement quantities, or data collected using load tests or non-destructive evaluation. Several methodologies are described and advantages/limitations of each are discussed.