Bridge weight limits allow the continued, limited use of a weak bridge that would otherwise present a significant safety hazard while protecting the legal and economic interests of the bridge owner. For weight limits to be effective, however, bridges must be posted for the proper weight limit, and the posting must be observed and enforced. The federal government became involved in bridge weight-limit posting in 1968 with the creation of National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS), which required states to inspect, inventory, and evaluate bridges on federal-aid routes. Weight-limit posting was required for bridges found to have insufficient structural capacity. The results of a survey of state posting practices are presented and the findings of a study on weight-limit posting in the United States are summarized. NBIS provides some engineering guidance for inspecting, evaluating, and posting highway bridges, but considerable engineering judgment is still required to fill the gaps. As a result, even within the limits set by NBIS, engineering practices vary among the states, which leads to differences in posting methods. This is evident from the results of the survey of the states. Development of a simple, uniform posting criterion by which the legitimate differences that exist between states can be rationally considered is recommended.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 70-76
  • Monograph Title: Second bridge engineering conference. volumes 1 and 2
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00390848
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 03090036593
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 30 1984 12:00AM