Pavement Preservation Compendium
FHWA Announces New Source of Bridge Preservation Funding
Maintenance and preservation of highway bridges received a boost in January 2002, when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced that Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP) funds can now be used to perform preventive maintenance on highway bridges. This new flexibility in State highway agencies' use of the Federal funds will help extend the useful life of bridges in a cost-effective manner. The added flexibility will also assist States in using their limited highway budgets to best manage their aging highway assets.
Preventive maintenance activities eligible for funding include sealing or replacing leaking joints; applying deck overlays that will significantly increase the service life of the deck by sealing the deck surface and reducing the impact of aging and weathering; painting the structural steel; and applying electrochemical chloride extraction treatments to decks and substructure elements. States are encouraged to contact their local FHWA division offices for more specific details on eligible work.
King Gee, Program Manager for FHWA's Office of Infrastructure, noted in his announcement of the new policy that, "It is important that system preservation activities for the purpose of preventive maintenance on bridges be carried out using a systematic process, such as a Bridge Management System (BMS)." A BMS can help a State make the most efficient use of preventive maintenance funding by creating cost/benefit scenarios and investment strategies.
For more information on using HBRRP funds for bridge preservation activities, contact your local FHWA division office or Ray McCormick at FHWA, 202-366-4675 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information on implementing a BMS, contact George Romack at FHWA, 202-366-4606 (email: email@example.com).
*Reprinted from Focus, February 2002.