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Federal Highway Administration
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Bridges & Structures


Bridge Replacement Cost Submittal Criteria

  1. Unit costs for the replacement of all highway bridges constructed with Federal funds on the NHS and off the NHS are to be submitted by April 1 of each year. The total cost of eligible items is divided by the total deck area of the new replacement bridges to determine the average unit cost by system.
  2. All replaced highway bridges let or awarded during the appropriate fiscal year are to be used. Please indicate the number of bridges and area used to calculate the unit costs for replacement for each system.
  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. These data are 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 staged 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 should exclude the bridge from the unit cost submittal.
  7. Unit costs shall be based on bridge costs only. A list of specific items to be excluded is provided below. The list is not all-inclusive and care should be taken to ensure that other similar items are also excluded.
  8. Unit costs shall be rounded up to the next highest dollar.

Items to be Excluded from Unit Cost Submittals

  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
Updated: 11/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000