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2nd Edition, 2019

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The proper assessment of the condition of bridge elements is the cornerstone of sound bridge management. The introduction of element inspection condition methods in the early 1990s represented a significant advancement in bridge inspection practice and has been adopted by the vast majority of the state transportation departments in the United States. Bridge Owners nationwide have recognized the benefits of detailed condition assessments through the use of the raw inspection information, expanded performance measures, and bridge management system deterioration forecasting and evaluation. As the use of element-level inspection techniques has proliferated, the need for updates and enhancements to the standard element specification has been identified. This Manual incorporates improvements to the AASHTO Commonly Recognized (CoRe) Structural Elements through changes in the measurement units of decks and slabs, the development of a wearing surface element, the standardization of the number of element states, and the development of protective coating elements for concrete and steel, as well as deck protection systems. Elements constructed of innovative materials are also identified. The goal of this Manual is to completely capture the condition of bridges in a simple, effective way that can be standardized across the nation while providing the flexibility to be adapted to both large- and small-agency settings.

This manual is not intended to supplant proper bridge and element inspection training or the exercise of engineering judgment by the Inspector or Professional Engineer.