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Federal Highway Administration
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Bridges & Structures

Bridge Management

Bridge management is a core bridge discipline that focuses on making informed and effective decisions on the operation, maintenance, preservation, replacement, and improvement of bridges within a bridge inventory. The FHWA promotes the use of sound practices and techniques for assessing the performance and needs of bridges on both a bridge- and inventory-level, evaluating alternative strategies for addressing needs, and prioritizing investments, projects, and work types that satisfy the objectives of being cost effective while maintaining safety. These objectives can among other things be satisfied by implementing programs of projects that maximize inventory-level performance where performance may include multiple factors such as condition, structural reliability, mobility, and minimizing the cost to achieve desired service life. Bridge management also extends beyond identifying optimal investments, projects, and work types and includes using optimal maintenance, preservation, and improvement design, material, and construction technologies that provide sustainable performance.

Bridge management decision making is highly dependent on relevant and quality data and on methodologies and tools for analyzing that data across an inventory of bridges. In this regard FHWA promotes the use and understanding of data collection technologies and bridge management systems. The modeling and analyses performed by bridge management systems assists bridge owners in making informed and effective decisions that will achieve their goals and objectives and maximize returns on investment.

Principal Documents




Related Information

Bridge Management Systems Workshop

The Bridge Management Systems (BMS) Workshop is a three-day workshop that is hosted by a public agency and delivered in-person.  The public agency is welcome and encouraged to invite other public agencies as well as consultants, contractors, or partners that have bridge management responsibilities.   It is a technical workshop that covers how BMS software function and can be used.  It does not address FHWA requirements and is not specific to any one BMS.   For additional information and scheduling, email this web page contact.  The following information from the Workshop may also serve as a resource.

Other Publications

Updated: 09/30/2022
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000