Section 5: Bridges, Including Bridge-Classification Culverts

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Where minimum bridge widths exist, it is generally expected that no additional structural work will be necessary. However, existing conditions such as deficient railing (pre-1964 rails are typically in this category), deteriorated deck, or a structure with an unsafe load carrying capability may require additional structural work. In such cases, reference TxDOT's Bridge Railing Manual and consult with the Bridge Division for design recommendations. If structural modification is necessary, it may be appropriate to consider a greater bridge width if future plans or traffic projections indicate additional roadway improvement will be necessary in the foreseeable future.

To accomplish a complete and cost effective rehabilitation plan throughout a geographic area, identify roadways with low traffic volumes and perform a crash evaluation on structures with railings that do not match current standard railing details (reference TxDOT's Bridge Railing Manual and Bridge Railing Standards). Evaluate bridges with these railings on an individual basis. If the evaluation indicates continuing satisfactory performance and the railing is in good repair, retain these railings on low volume roadways.

Obtain additional information on bridge rehabilitation in TxDOT’s Bridge Project Development Manual.

Note that additional vertical clearance requirements may apply to bridge projects on the Texas Highway Freight Network (THFN) as specified in Chapter 3, Section 8.

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