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

Implementation Assistance Application for Service Life Design for Bridges (R19A)


To better address our nation's aging infrastructure problems, bridge engineers need new design, material selection and thru-life maintenance options to improve structure performance and extend service life.

The Service Life Design Guide for Bridges is a comprehensive reference document that complements AASHTO specifications and equips bridge engineers with the tools to improve bridge service life for a range of functional conditions and constraints. It represents a new approach to designing for service life, resulting in longer-lasting, durable bridge components and systems that are both easier to inspect and better suited to their environments. The guide focuses on typical bridges with one or multiple spans and a maximum single span length of 300 feet. It addresses design, fabrication, construction, operation, maintenance, repair, and replacement issues applicable to both new and existing bridges, and includes standard plans, model specifications for design and construction, and fault tree flow charts.

In addition to the guide, training on Service Life Design concepts and methods will also include developments from Round 4 implementation, including:

  • Overview of the concept of Service Life Design – preferred design elements, selection of durable construction materials, and life-cycle maintenance strategies;
  • Summary of the R19A Round 4 agency projects and lessons learned;
  • New contract testing requirements for chloride induced corrosion and carbonation in concrete;
  • Probabilistic design tools developed under European service life design model codes pertaining to concrete chloride diffusion;
  • Results of calculations done on high performance concrete mix designs with fly ash and/or slag to demonstrate longer anticipated service life;
  • Applications of corrosion resistant reinforcement (epoxy, galvanizing, stainless, MMFX, etc.);
  • Effect of cracking on chloride ingress in concrete; and
  • Service Life Design as it pertains to steel structures (corrosion resistant materials and coatings).

Leadership Endorsement

Each application submitted from an organization or agency must have the endorsement of the Chief Executive Officer or designee. The letter of endorsement is submitted as an attachment to the application. Guidance for creating an endorsement letter appears in the application below.

Priority Ranking

When an organization or agency submits multiple applications, it must designate priority. Please rank each application in a single grouping, including all product submissions from your agency. Do not separate your organization's applications into categories for individual products, or levels of incentives (i.e., Lead Adopter or User Incentive).

For example, if your agency submits six applications; one application for each product (C01, R11, R01B, R05, R15B, and R21), your agency must rank each application in priority order from 1 to 6, with 1 as the highest priority and 6 as the lowest priority. For your convenience, you will find a box later in this application to designate the priority ranking. FHWA and AASHTO will take into consideration the agency’s rankings when reviewing and evaluating the applications for implementation assistance. Your priority ranking should be expressed as "X of Y," as in "1 of 6."

Available Implementation Assistance

  • Lead Adopter
  • Up to 5 awards
  • Up to $100,000 in the form of direct funding for implementation activities.
  • State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), local and tribal agencies. Local agencies must coordinate application submittals with their state DOTs.
  • April 29, 2016


  1. Commitment of DOT leadership to incorporate Service Life Design methods, principles and practices within bridge and asset management programs.
  2. Participation in training on the use of the Guide, development of example bridge designs incorporating Service Life Design concepts, and development of customized design procedures, checklists, specifications, etc. to support the continued organizational integration of Service Life Design in routine bridge design.
  3. Identification of one or more bridge projects, in current design or recently completed, to be evaluated or redesigned using Service Life Design concepts.
  4. Organizational support to provide or develop life-cycle cost information for common bridge elements.
  5. Participation in Guide evaluation activities, including an organizational assessment conducted by an independent consultant for FHWA.
  6. Willingness to share knowledge with other DOTs interested in implementing Service Life Design in their bridge programs, including reporting on the lessons learned from implementing the Guide.
  7. Willingness to participate in regional or national knowledge sharing events to promote the Guide and Service Life Design.

Application Form

Follow these steps to apply for implementation assistance:

  1. Review all background information located on this product's application page.
  2. Download the Service Life Design for Bridges (R19A) application form; and save it to your computer in order to iterate, revise, and secure approvals before uploading the final application and Leadership Endorsement Letter to this site.
  3. Once you have completed this form and secured the required Leadership Endorsement Letter(s), return to the application page and complete the contact information fields.
  4. Upload this form and the Leadership Endorsement Letter to the page.
  5. Click submit; you will receive an email confirmation that includes the uploaded endorsement letter and application form.
The Round 7 application period has closed.

  • View Leadership Endorsement Guidance

  • Download the Service Life Design for Bridges (R19A) application form.
  • Contact Information

Be sure to click submit only one time.

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000