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

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Bridges & Structures

General Information Flowchart Chart 1

  1. Obtain Design Criteria Design Step 1.1

    Commentary for 1.: Includes: Governing specifications, codes and standards, Design methodology, Live load requirements, Bridge width requirements, Clearance requirements, Bridge length requirements, Material properties, Future wearing surface, load modifiers

  2. Obtain Geometry Requirements Design Step 1.2

    Commentary for 2.: Includes: Horizontal curve data and alignment, Vertical curve data and grades

  3. Does client require a Span Arrangement Study?

  4. Perform Span Arrangement Study Design Step 1.3

  5. Select Bridge Type and Develop Span Arrangement Design Step 1.3

    Commentary for 4. and 5.: Includes: Select bridge type, Determine span arrangement, Determine substructure locations, Compute span lengths, Check horizontal clearance

  6. Obtain Geotechnical Recommendations Design Step 1.4

    Commentary for 6.: Includes: Boring logs, Foundation type recommendations for all substructures, allowable bearing pressure, Allowable settlement, Overturning, Sliding, Allowable pile resistance (axial and lateral)

  7. Does client require a Type, Size and Location Study?

  8. Perform Type, Size and Location Study Design Step 1.5

  9. Determine Optimum Girder Configuration Design Step 1.5

    Commentary for 8. and 9.: Includes: Select girder types, Girder spacing, Approximate girder depth, Check vertical clearance

  10. Plan for Bridge Aesthetics S2.5.5 Design Step 1.6

    Commentary for 10: Considerations include: Function, Proportion, Harmony, Order and rhythm, Contrast and texture, Light and shadow

  11. Return to Main Flowchart


1 go to 2
2 go to 3
3 if yes go to 4
3 if no go to 5
4 and 5 go to 6
6 go to 7
7 if yes go to 8
7 if no go to 9
8 and 9 go to 10
10 go to 11
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Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000