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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-13-101    Date:  November 2013
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-101
Date: November 2013


Characterization of Bridge Foundations Workshop Report

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Bridge owners face the potential problem of not being able to characterize the foundations of bridges over dry land and waterways (for example, not knowing the integrity and the depth of the piles). This information is critical in their decisionmaking process for determining whether they can rely on the existing foundation to withstand geo/hydraulic hazards for an additional 25, 50, 75, or 100 years of service as they may consider a major bridge rehabilitation, replacement, reuse, or widening of a bridge.

In 2013, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a new research program for the characterization of bridge foundations. To narrow the focus of the program and to solicit key stakeholder input, a workshop on “Characterization of Bridge Foundations” was held in Arlington, VA, from April 30 to May 1, 2013. The cross-discipline workshop involved key staff from the FHWA hydraulics, geotechnical and structural disciplines brainstorming with stakeholders in separate breakout sessions. This report presents an overview and documents the results and conclusions of the workshop. The knowledge gained from the workshop will be considered by FHWA as it develops a multi-year Research and Development strategic plan and a roadmap for the new Characterization of Bridge Foundations program.

Jorge E. Pagán-Ortiz
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development



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