FHWA'S BRIDGE TEMPORARY WORKS RESEARCH PROGRAM

Approximately 35,000 state or federal-aid highway bridges were built in the United States during the past decade. Most of these bridges were built without incident, which is a credit to the construction industry. During this period, however, several major bridge failures occurred during construction and were attributed to construction practices and procedures. Statistically, bridge falsework represents more than a third of the total recorded falsework collapses, most of which occurred during construction of conventionally reinforced concrete beam or box-girder bridges. Falsework design in the United States, because of its temporary nature, has traditionally been delegated to the contractor or contractor's engineer under the premise that the contractor is responsible for the means and methods of construction. Although there are potential economies in this type of assignment, the design engineer of record for the bridge relinquishes some control of the project, which, in turn, increases the probability of construction complications or failures. The possibility of construction problems is compounded by the fact that until recently very few detailed standards existed for the construction of these temporary systems and, in many cases, the design assumptions were left to individual engineering judgment. Following the collapse of the Route 198 bridge over the Baltimore Washington Parkway in 1989, FHWA determined that there was a need to reassess, on a national level, the specifications currently used to design, construct, and inspect falsework for highway bridge structures. Toward that end, FHWA sponsored a study to identify the existing information on this subject and develop a guide specification for use by state agencies to update their existing standard specifications for falsework, formwork, and related temporary construction. The results of this study, which included a survey of U.S. and Canadian highway departments and a comprehensive literature search, is presented. The paper focuses on the current state of the practice in the United States and abroad. FHWA's "Guide Design Specification for Bridge Temporary Works" is discussed in detail.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 141-150
  • Monograph Title: FOURTH INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE ENGINEERING CONFERENCE, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 28-30, 1995. CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS, 2 VOLUMES
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00711682
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061091
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 5 1995 12:00AM