Bridge Preservation

A Programmatic Approach to Long-Term Bridge Preventive Maintenance

State transportation agencies use cost-effective preventive maintenance (PM) programs to preserve existing roadway systems, slow down their deterioration, and improve their functional condition. Currently, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC’s) bridge inventory includes approximately 10,000 structures, and by 2018, most of these structures will have been in use for at least 50 years. Because there is insufficient funding available to pursue a large-scale bridge replacement program, it is critical for the Cabinet to prolong the lives of its bridges by using economical strategies. This report provides guidance that the KYTC can use to develop and implement a statewide bridge PM program. Drawing from previous Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) research studies and interviews with other state transportation agencies, the report describes eight bridge PM activities that KYTC can leverage to maintain and enhance its current portfolio of bridges. It provides technical overviews of each activity. These activities include: 1) resealing and repairing joints; 2) cleaning and sealing bearings; 3) bridge washing; 4) sealing decks; 5) spot painting; 6) patching bridge decks; 7) cleaning and painting pier caps and abutments; and 8) scour, drift, sediment, and bank stabilization. KYTC would benefit from incorporating PM activities into a holistic bridge preservation program to extend the service lives of its bridges.

Download the KTC Long-Term Bridge PM Report (.pdf)


UPDATE from AASHTO SCOBS Bridge Preservation Technical Committee T-9

Following is an update of current activities and news items of interest pertaining to Bridge Preservation from Tech Committee T-9.

Download the Full Update (.pdf)


FHWA LTBP Bridge Performance Primer

This TechBrief defines bridge performance and discusses the importance of measuring performance and current practices for doing so. It identifies key issues to improving performance measures and the role the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program plays in this effort.The TechBrief may be downloaded as a (.pdf) file at:

Download the TechBrief (.pdf)


Bridge Preservation – Final Version

Following comments, the FHWA BPETG’s Original Draft has been revised to the final version as follows:

Bridge Preservation – “Actions or strategies that prevent, delay or reduce deterioration of bridges or bridge elements, restore the function of existing bridges, keep bridges in good condition and extend their useful life. Preservation actions may be preventive or condition-driven”.

Read the Full Commentary and AASHTO Policy Resolution PR-3-11 adopting the Bridge Preservation Definition


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