InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Development of six-year research needs assessment for timber transportation structures

A timber bridge, once a thing of the past, is now becoming a thing of the present. Interest in timber bridges and other transportation structures has been rapidly increasing. Much of this is due to new technologies in design and construction as well as advances in material manufacturing and presevative
treatments. Although timber bridges and other transportation structures are gaining in popularity, there is much to be accomplished to fully develop wood as a material for transportation structures. This report summarizes research needs determined and prioritized by public and private individuals, and groups and organizations that have a potential interest in bridges and transportation structures. These research
needs are categorized into research areas that correspond to the categories identified in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991, Section 1039(a). Analysis of the research needs shows that there is a great deal of interest in wood preservation, development of standardized procedures, guidelines and specifications, and technology transfer. The projects and priorities identified in this study will be used by
the Federal Highway Administration and the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory as a basis
for developing a national 6-year research program for timber transportation structures.