U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Bridges & Structures

Subject: ACTION: Request for Replacement Costs of Structurally Deficient Bridges (Reply Due: April 1, 2015) Date: December 11, 2014
From: /s/ Original Signed by
Joseph L. Hartmann
Director, Office of Bridges and Structures
Refer To: HIBT-30
To: Division Administrators

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, Pub. L. 112-141, (MAP-21) repealed the HBP and its processes; however, a requirement to collect costs related to bridge construction was retained under the National bridge and tunnel inventory and inspection standards [23 U.S.C. 144(b)(5)]. These MAP-21 provisions require the Secretary to determine the cost of replacing each structurally deficient bridge with a comparable facility or the cost of rehabilitating the bridge. This memorandum provides guidance in collecting the required bridge costs.

The States are requested to submit replacement costs of structurally deficient highway bridges constructed with Federal funds during fiscal year 2014 on the National Highway System (NHS) and off the NHS as defined under MAP-21 by April 1, 2015. We expect Division offices to review these costs in sufficient detail to assure that States follow the criteria defined in the attachments. Please provide a discussion and recommended adjustments with the submitted cost data where there are inconsistencies.

The preferred method for submitting cost data is electronically through the Web-based National Bridge Inventory (NBI) system under the submittals section.  Division offices may also submit cost data through e-mail to the Office of Bridges and Structures at the following addresses: BridgeOfficialMailbox.fhwa@dot.gov, and Fernando.Luna@dot.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Fernando Luna (202) 366-4621 (Fernando.Luna@dot.gov). Questions regarding submittal of information through the NBI system should be directed to Mr. Douglas Blades (202) 366-4622 (Douglas.Blades@dot.gov).


Directors of Field Services

ATTACHMENT A Replacment costs of Structurally Deficient Bridges Submission Criteria

  1. Unit costs for the replacement of structurally deficient highway bridges constructed with Federal funds on the NHS and off the NHS as defined under MAP-21 are to be submitted by April 1, 2015. The total cost of eligible items is to be divided by the total deck area of the new replacement bridges to determine the average unit cost by system.
  2. All replaced structurally deficient highway bridges let or awarded during fiscal year 2014 are to be used. Please indicate the number of bridges and area used to calculate the unit costs for replacement for each system. Submit the tabulated data as shown on Attachment D.
  3. Exclude culverts (multiple cell box culverts, long span culverts and multiple pipe installations) from the calculations. The NBI definition and the coding of Item 43 of the Recording and Coding Guide for the Structure Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation’s Bridges (Coding Guide) should be used to distinguish culverts from bridges.
  4. The total deck area of the replacement bridge is to be used for all calculations. The length dimension is to be as described for Item 49 and the width dimension is to be as described for Item 52 in the Coding Guide. Refer to Attachment B. This data is to be consistent with the information submitted for the particular bridge in the NBI.
  5. Bridges involving unusual circumstances or types of construction not routinely used by the State that significantly raise or lower the unit cost should not be included. Generally, certain types of bridges can be identified as unusual – movable, cable-stayed, suspension, segmental and other structures that have a clear unsupported length greater than 500 feet. However, certain States that have built numerous types of unusual bridges, e.g. segmental bridges, may no longer consider such bridges as unusual. Therefore, the States are given some discretion in making the determination concerning the definition of unusual. Unusual circumstances may include extremely difficult access conditions and the occurrence of extreme events during construction.
  6. Bridges that are under stage construction should not be included unless the final stage has been bid and a total unit cost can be obtained. If a bridge is included in a design build or lump sum contract, if possible, please determine the eligible costs for inclusion in the unit cost calculations. If this cannot be accomplished, the State may use the previous year’s unit cost for these bridges.
  7. Unit costs shall be based on bridge costs only. A list of specific items not to be included is provided in Attachment C. The list is not all-inclusive and care should be taken to assure that other similar items are not included.
  8. Unit costs shall be rounded to the next highest dollar.

ATTACHMENT B Bridge Width Out-to-Out of Deck

How to measure a bridge width

Attachment Cost Items not to be Included un Unit Cost Calculations

  1. Mobilization
  2. Demolition of Existing Bridges
  3. Approach Slabs (approach slabs may be included when paid for as bridge item, e.g. on integral abutment bridge).
  4. Stream Channel Work, Riprap, Slope Paving
  5. Earthwork (exclusive of structural excavation, structural backfill, and earthwork associated with Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge Systems)
  6. Clearing and Grubbing
  7. Retaining Walls not attached to Abutments
  8. Guardrail Transitions to Bridges
  9. Maintenance and Protection of Traffic
  10. Detour Costs
  11. Signing and Marking
  12. Lighting
  13. Electrical Conduits
  14. Inlet Frames and Grates
  15. Field Office
  16. Construction Engineering Items
  17. Training
  18. Right-of-Way
  19. Utility Relocation
  20. Contingencies

Attachment D - 2013 Replacement Costs of Structurally Deficient Bridges


ON - National Highway System
No. of Replaced SD Bridges Total Area of Replaced SD Bridges (m2) SD Bridges Total Replacement Cost (dollars) SD Bridge Replacement Unit Cost (dollars/m2)


OFF - National Highway System
No. of Replaced SD Bridges Total Area of Replaced SD Bridges (m2) SD Bridges Total Replacement Cost (dollars) SD Bridge Replacement Unit Cost (dollars/m2)


Updated: 05/21/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000

All Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) information technology systems will be unavailable, Friday, October 28, at 10:00 p.m. to Sunday, October 30, at 11:59 p.m., EDT, while work is being performed on the network. During that time, users will not be able to access any FHWA systems.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the 5-Help Service Center @ (866) 466-5221 or 5-HelpServiceCenter@dot.gov.