InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Field Performance of Timber Bridges: A National Study

As many engineers begin to implement life-cycle cost analyses within the preliminary bridge design phase, there is a significant need for more reliable data on the expected service life of highway bridges. Many claims are being made about the expected longevity of concrete and steel bridges being 75 years or more, but few are based on actual performance data. Because engineers are least familiar with timber bridges; their expected longevity is often unfairly estimated at 20 years. A project is needed on a national scale that provides more reliable data about the true longevity of timber bridges in the US and allows for more accurate life-cycle assessments.