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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

 
REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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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FOREWORD

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

 

Notice

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. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

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.

 

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

 

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

FHWA-HRT-13-101

2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Characterization of Bridge Foundations Workshop Report

5. Report Date

November 2013

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Vernon R. Schaefer* and Frank Jalinoos**

8. Performing Organization Report No.

 

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

*Iowa State University
488 Town Engineering Building, Ames, IA 50011-3232
**Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean VA 22101

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-11-D-00010

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

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

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Workshop Report, 2013

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

 

15. Supplementary Notes
16. Abstract

In 2013, the Federal Highway Administration proposed a new research program for the characterization of bridge foundations. To narrow the focus and develop a research roadmap for the program, a workshop on “Characterization of Bridge Foundations” was held in Arlington, VA, from April 30 to May 1, 2013, to solicit key stakeholder input. The workshop opened with plenary sessions to provide the invited participants with a national perspective on the issue; summaries of geotechnical and hydraulic hazards; and, the impact of changes in service loads and foundations reuse. The plenary sessions were followed by breakout sessions. This report presents an overview and documents the results and conclusions of the workshop.

17. Key Words

Unknown Foundation, Foundation Reuse, Foundation Integrity, Substructure, Geotech

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classification
Unclassified

 

20. Security Classification
Unclassified

 

21. No. of Pages

66

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

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

SUMMARY OF THE FIRST PLENARY SESSION: FEDERAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS—NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

SUMMARY OF THE SECOND PLENARY SESSION: GEOTECHNICAL & HYDRAULIC HAZARDS AND IMPACTS

SUMMARY OF THE THIRD PLENARY SESSION: CHANGES IN SERVICE LOADS AND FOUNDATION REUSE

BREAKOUT SESSION I: GEO/HYDRAULIC HAZARDS AND IMPACTS

BREAKOUT SESSION II: CHANGES IN SERVICE LOAD AND FOUNDATION REUSE

SUMMARY OF THE FINAL PLENARY SESSION: RECOMMENDATONS

APPENDIX A—WORKSHOP AGENDA

APPENDIX B—WORKSHOP ATTENDEES

APPENDIX C—WHITE PAPER ON THE UNKNOWN FOUNDATION PROBLEM

ACKNOWLDEGEMENTS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

 

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101