Numerous bridge construction accidents have occurred across the country because of construction loadings, which are an under-emphasized topic in many DOT specifications and design manuals. Bridge girders are least stable when they are subjected to construction loads, so it is important for design engineers and contractors to understand and design for these loads. The Indiana Department of Transportation’s current Standard Specifications does not contain many construction load provisions, so this study was performed to identify and implement new requirements to proactively prevent accidents from occurring in Indiana.

Various documents were examined in this study, including AASHTO and ASCE standards in addition to several other states DOT Standard Specifications and Design Manuals. Based on these documents, new falsework and formwork design loads, including horizontal loads, impact loads, and wind load, were developed and proposed to INDOT, which currently only specifys a dead load and live load. A set of drawings showing proposed minimum lateral bracing requirements was also developed to help ensure the stability of prestressed concrete and steel girders during construction.

Report Number



Construction loads, falsework, formwork, bracing, bridges

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version


Technical Summary.pdf (1698 kB)
Technical Summary