Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil Engineering

Committee Chair

Mark Bowman

Committee Member 1

Robert Connor

Committee Member 2

Michael Kreger


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, which states that bridges shall be load rated and posted according to an American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) manual. 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 Part 3: Load Rating of INDOT's Bridge Inspection Manual (2010) 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 (State DOT Manuals and Personal Communication). AASHTO's The Manual for Bridge Evaluation, Second Edition (MBE, 2nd Edition) (2011), which is the current specification for load rating and posting bridges was reviewed, as well as older AASHTO bridge evaluation manuals (2008, 2003, and 1994). Based on this information, revisions were proposed to the INDOT Bridge Inspection Manual (2010) (Part 3: Load Rating) in order to eliminate current deficiencies.

TableA1.pdf (85 kB)