All states are required to load rate and post bridges in order to comply with federal standards. Load ratings are performed in order to determine the safe live load capacity of a bridge, considering the existing conditions of the bridge. Based on the load ratings, the bridge is evaluated for load posting or strengthening. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) was notified that their practice for load rating and posting did not satisfy 23 CFR 650.313. The purpose of this study was to summarize and compare load rating and posting procedures used in other states and to provide recommendations and information necessary to modify the load rating and posting procedures in INDOT’s Bridge Inspection Manual (Part 3: Load Rating) in order to satisfy 23 CFR 650.313.

In order to understand how load rating and posting is performed in other states, department of transportation (DOT) manuals were examined, questionnaires were sent to states, and additional states of interest were surveyed. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) The Manual for Bridge Evaluation, Second Edition, which is the current specification for load rating and posting bridges was reviewed, as well as older AASHTO bridge evaluation manuals. Based on this information, revisions were proposed to the INDOT Bridge Inspection Manual (Part 3: Load Rating) in order to eliminate current deficiencies.

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load rating, posting, bridges, legal loads

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version