The National Academies

NCHRP 20-07/Task 399 [Active]

Identifying Bridge Maintenance and Preservation Activities which Minimize Environmental Impact
[ NCHRP 20-07 (Research for AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Waseem Dekelbab
Research Agency: Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gary McVoy
Effective Date: 1/4/2017
Completion Date: 1/3/2018


The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) legislation established national goals for infrastructure condition, congestion reduction, environmental sustainability and reduced project delivery delays. In 2015, these goals were carried forward in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).
Bridge Maintenance and Preservation activities which minimize environmental impacts can have positive impacts on these national goals:
  • Infrastructure condition - Timely coating system and joint seal maintenance can extend bridge life and prevent the deposition of hazardous paint and other materials into waterways.
  • Congestion reduction - Bridge deck maintenance on bridges in fair condition can reduce traffic noise, speed change cycles, and truck detours. Timely preservation work may also reduce work zone disruptions and other negative aspects of bridge operations and life cycle.
  • Environmental sustainability - Reduced material and energy needs may result from extended bridge life and reduce the need for more significant impacts associated with bridge replacement.
  • Reduced project delivery delays – Activities which minimize environmental impacts can reduce the time required to obtain environmental documents and permits.
Bridge Preservation Practitioners require a current summary of transportation agency practices and procedures which minimize environmental impacts during bridge maintenance and preservation activities.


The objective of this project is to identify effective practices and provide the information needed to develop guidelines to assist bridge owners in selecting the most appropriate strategies and procedures for Bridge Maintenance and Preservation activities which minimize environmental impacts. The project will produce a list of standard actions in bridge maintenance and preservation with assessments of relative environmental impacts of each.


Task 1.
Conduct a literature review to determine the current state of knowledge.
Task 2. Conduct a survey of bridge owners and other stakeholders to collect data related to the research objective.
Task 3. Synthesize existing practices and procedures documenting the environmental impacts of bridge maintenance and preservation actions. Prepare an outline of the proposed guidelines, including discussion of the contents and intent.
Task 4. Develop a draft of the proposed guidelines and submit the panel review.
Task 5. Present the research findings to the Bridge Technical Working Group of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance.
Task 6. Revise the proposed guidelines after consideration of panel’s comments
Task 7. Submit a final report describing the entire research. Following receipt of the draft final report, the remaining 2 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised final report.

STATUS: Research in Progress

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