Aging bridges—and the shortage of funds needed to repair or replace them—are urgent concerns. Soaring construction costs and tight budgets have made safety, performance, reliability and preservation objectives harder to achieve.

To conquer current challenges, AASHTOWare offers three Bridge software tools linked by a single database. These are the result of more than 20 years of extensive research and feedback from DOT professionals nationwide. Bridge developers’ ongoing commitment to advance the software platform assures its currency with the latest technology.

AASHTOWare Bridge Management

The AASHTOWare Bridge Management software is a comprehensive asset management system developed to assist in the challenging task of bridge management. AASHTOWare Bridge Management stores bridge inventory and inspection data; formulates network-wide preservation and improvement policies for use in evaluating the needs of each bridge in a network; and makes recommendations for what projects to include in an agency’s capital plan for deriving the maximum benefit from limited funds.

AASHTOWare Bridge Design and Bridge Rating

AASHTOWare Bridge Design and AASHTOWare Bridge Rating software products are comprehensive bridge design and load rating tools developed by AASHTO. For an agency’s bridge inventory, the products store detailed bridge descriptions sufficient for structural analysis. AASHTOWare Bridge Design is the tool for assisting in the design of both superstructures and substructures in accordance with the AASHTO LRFD specification. AASHTOWare Bridge Rating is a tool for rating bridge superstructures in accordance with the AASHTO Manual for Condition Evaluation of Bridges, AASHTO Manual for Bridge Evaluation, AASHTO Standard Specification and AASHTO LRFD Specification. The two products share much of their user interface and database. When both products are licensed, a bridge can be designed using AASHTOWare Bridge Design and be immediately available to AASHTOWare Bridge Rating for load rating without re-entering and validating additional data. Refer to the detailed features and capabilities for each product below.

There are three primary components to the system: the user interface, the database and the analysis or computational engines. The database and user interface are capable of supporting a two or three-dimensional description of a bridge. Three-dimensional description is the basis for the 3-D modeling and analysis of special vehicle configurations. The computational engines support both line girder and 3-D analyses.

AASHTOWare Bridge Design and AASHTOWare Bridge Rating use a common database to allow an agency to store a detailed description of each bridge, which is independent of the analytical engine (including specification checking) and the user interface. The concept of storing generic bridge descriptions in a database is a powerful one with many user and agency benefits.  Among the benefits are:

  • Designing and rating a bridge using multiple analysis programs and specifications from the same description and input;
  • Upgrading and/or replacing components of the system, including the structural analysis engine, specification checking software, and user interface while preserving the basic bridge data; and
  • Easily linking to other related software systems, including bridge management systems such as AASHTOWare Bridge Management.

Additionally, the AASHTOWare Bridge Design/AASHTOWare Bridge Rating database is fully linked with the AASHTOWare Bridge Management database, meaning that users of two or all three of these AASHTOWare Bridge systems may query data across product lines. AASHTOWare Bridge users can now maintain a single bridge database supporting all the products, easily add and remove structures, and have the systems automatically coordinate their common bridge information.

“The Oregon Department of Transportation uses AASHTOWare Bridge Management as an integral part of our integrated bridge management process. The software is an efficient data management solution while also providing tools for maintenance planning and identification of needs for funding allocation. Analysis of the detailed element level data assists in making informed decisions in the development of our bridge preservation and capital improvement (STIP) programs.”

Bruce Johnson, P.E., State Bridge Engineer, Oregon Department of Transportation