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Researchers Develop Tools to Help Local Governments Evaluate Bridge Replacement Options

Posted: Jul 20, 2021

Photo Source: MnDOTWith more than 500 local short-span bridges in need of replacement in South Dakota, federal and state funding falls far short of meeting those replacement needs. Researchers at South Dakota State University developed tools to help local governments make the most effective and economic decisions about how to replace bridges on low-volume roads.

They conducted an extensive review of research articles, reports, and existing practices to develop a comprehensive list of short-span innovative bridge elements and systems that are suitable to implement at the local government level. The list was converted into a catalog and divided into techniques, superstructures, substructures, materials, and entire bridge structures. The catalog also includes guidance on construction planning and administration for local bridge replacement. An evaluation tool with simple inputs for use by local government decision-making was developed. The tool will lead decision-makers through the process of cost evaluation, and finally recommend if a project should be completed using cost-saving innovative methods for bridge construction or by using conventional methods.

Allen Jones, Ph.D.
South Dakota State University

Bridge Structure Alternatives for Local Roads

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050