Bridge owners rely on subjective evaluation of practices for the identification and assessment of design alternatives to improve the service life of highway bridges. Only a few highway bridges have been designed for specific service life criteria. The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications contain requirements for strength design and some serviceability checks. However, there are no comprehensive guidelines for service life design of highway bridges. The Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Report S2-R19A-RW-2: Design Guide for Bridges for Service Life provides the groundwork for establishing recommendations for extending service life and could be useful in developing a process for assuring target service life of various bridge components and elements. However, bridge owners and designers need an AASHTO guide specification to implement the service life bridge design into projects and standards.
The objectives of this research was to develop (1) proposed AASHTO guide specification for service life design of highway bridges and (2) case studies to demonstrate the application of the proposed guide specification.
The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Web-Only Document 269: Development of Guide Specification for Service Life Design of Highway Bridges presents the development of a new guide specification on the service life design of highway bridges, adopted by AASHTO in 2019, including a set of case studies that demonstrate its application.