The publications division of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently issued a new reference guide for the preservation of historic bridges.
Entitled Historic Bridge Preservation Guide, 1st Edition, AASHTO’s newest publication provides in-depth details on the preservation and rehabilitation of both fixed and movable historic highway bridges. It aims to familiarize engineers with the unique and diverse skills needed for successful historic bridge preservation and rehabilitation projects.
Specific information included in the guide includes structural analysis and evaluation for historic bridges; guidelines for working with multiple types of construction materials; options for rail retrofits; masonry repair; balancing historic design with modern safety; and consulting tips for state and tribal historic preservation officials.
“The preservation of historic bridges presents a unique challenge to bridge owners,” explained James Nelson, director of the bridges and structures bureau at the Iowa Department of Transportation and chair of the AASHTO technical committee on bridge preservation, in a statement.
He noted that thee costs to maintain the historical significance, functionality, service life, load carrying capacity and safety considerations of historic bridges “all intersect” and thus “require a balanced approach” to bridge preservation.
“The AASHTO Historic Bridge Preservation Guide, 1st Edition, can help both a bridge owner and bridge engineer navigate those unique challenges of keeping historical bridges in service for the bridge to be appreciated both by those who use it and those who admire the historic significance of the bridge,” Nelson added.