The National Academies

NCHRP 20-07/Task 424 [Final]

AASHTO Guidelines for the Operation of Movable Bridges from Remote Locations
[ NCHRP 20-07 (Research for AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Research Agency: HDR Engineering, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Mr. Robert Moses
Effective Date: 8/20/2019
Completion Date: 8/19/2020

As technology improves, an increasing number of highway and railroad bridge owners are exploring the possibility of operating their movable bridges from a remote location. The potential cost savings for State Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies and Local governments, railroad bridge owners and other bridge owners by replacing onsite movable bridge tenders with remote operating systems are expected to be significant. However, extensive research is required to evaluate the risks associated with remote operations, establish the requirements for reliable remote bridge operating systems, and establish Best Practices that ensure that both maritime and land traffic can transit these bridges safely with minimal delay. 
Of particular concern is the cyber-security risk associated with remote operating systems and considerations for reducing that risk. Cyber-attacks on these systems have the potential of causing major loss of life and severely damaging the nation’s critical infrastructure, equaling or exceeding the effects of conventional attacks. The research will provide recommendations of establishing cyber-security for remote bridge operating systems.
The objective of this project was to propose AASHTO guidelines for best practices of reliable remote roadway movable bridge operating systems and evaluate risks associated with remote bridge operation. The guidelines will assist state DOT and other bridge owners to operate their bridges remotely. Remote operating systems should be compatible with other remote type systems in place within agencies for ease of deployment, training, and maintenance.


The agency's final report prepared under NCHRP Project 20-07/Task 424 is available at:


The proposed AASHTO guidelines will be published by AASHTO in 2022. 
(NCHRP Staff: Dr. W. Dekelbab)

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