Since its publication in 2004, NCHRP Report 534: Guidelines for Inspection and Strength Evaluation of Suspension Bridge Parallel Wire Cables, has become a nationally recognized guideline. Because of the complexity of the technical information presented in the NCHRP Report 534 and the unique nature of suspension bridges, the FHWA published a Primer for the Inspection and Strength Evaluation of Suspension Bridge Cables in May 2012 to supplement NCHRP Report 534. The Primer expanded the information in NCHRP Report 534 and offered additional resources for agencies planning and performing inspections, metallurgical testing, and strength evaluations of suspension bridge main cables. Significant progress has been made by researchers and bridge owners over the last decade to advance risk-based inspection methods, nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques, structural health monitoring (SHM), and strength evaluation methods. There is an immediate need to incorporate these advances into the current practices for inspection and evaluation of suspension main cable systems.
The objectives of this research were to (1) develop guidelines for risk-based inspection and strength evaluation of suspension bridge main cable systems using probabilistic approaches and (2) plan and conduct a workshop for suspension cable bridge owners to demonstrate the use of proposed guidelines. The guidelines are presented in a format suitable for adoption by AASHTO.