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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA-HIF-18-055    Date:  November 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HIF-18-055
Date: November 2018


Foundation Reuse for Highway Bridges

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Given the high percentage of deteriorated or obsolete bridges in the national bridge inventory, the reuse of bridge foundations may be a viable option that can present a significant cost savings in bridge replacement and rehabilitation efforts. The potential time savings associated with foundation reuse can, in turn, reduce mobility impacts and increase the economic viability and sustainability of a project. However, existing foundations may have uncertain material properties, geometry, or details that impact the risks associated with reuse. Unlike a new foundation, an existing foundation may have been damaged, may not have sufficient capacity, and may have limited remaining service life due to deterioration.

Assessment of these issues as well as foundation strengthening and repair measures and innovative approaches to optimize loading are discussed in this report. To better demonstrate the engineering assessment of key integrity, durability and load carrying capacity issues, the report contains fifteen (15) case examples where foundation was reused by the owner agencies. On new construction, the report looks ahead and includes discussions on foundation design with consideration for reuse.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

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Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.


3 Recipient's Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

Foundation Reuse for Highway Bridges

5. Report Date

November 2018

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Agrawal, A.K., Jalinoos, F., Davis, N., Hoomaan, E., and Sanayei, M.

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

The City College of New York
160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)


11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Research, Development, and Technology
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered


14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes


16. Abstract

Foundations of existing highways and over-river bridges may have significant functional value. Hence, reuse of foundations of existing bridges during reconstruction or major rehabilitation can result in significant savings in costs and time. This report on bridge foundation reuse addresses critical issues encountered during decision-making on foundation reuse, assessment of existing bridge foundations for integrity, durability and capacity, strengthening of bridge foundations / substructures and design of bridge foundations for future reuse. The report includes numerous case examples on reuse of bridge foundations in the U.S. and Canada to highlight significant benefits of foundation reuse from social, environmental and economic perspectives. These case examples also present a detailed process followed in resolving integrity, durability and capacity issues encountered during the reuse process, and will serve as a knowledgebase for transportation agencies interested in reusing bridge foundations. Planning for reuse during the construction of a new bridge is a very important sustainability initiative that has also been addressed in this manual. This document is not meant to be used as a guideline; only as decision-making tool in addressing technical challenges and risk in reusing bridge foundations.

17. Key Words

Foundation reuse, substructure reuse, accelerated bridge reconstruction, integrity assessment, durability assessment, capacity assessment, substructure strengthening

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized



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