- Steel Bridge Design Handbook: Load Rating of Steel Bridges
- D. Mertz
- Book Title / Journal: Steel Bridge Design Handbook
- Year: 2012 , Volume: 18 , Series: FHWA-IF-12-052
- Bridge management ; Bridges
- Keywords: Steel Bridge ; Load Rating ; LRFR ; Live-load Capacity
- Load rating is defined as the determination of the live load carrying capacity of a bridge using as-built bridge plans and supplemented by information gathered from the latest field inspection. Load ratings are expressed as a rating factor or as a tonnage for a particular vehicle. Emphasis in load rating is on the live-load capacity and dictates the approach of determining rating factors instead of the design approach of satisfying limit states. Existing highway bridges are rated to prioritize a bridge owner’s needs, assure the traveling public’s safety, and facilitate the passage of goods. Bridges that cannot safely carry statutory loads, based on a load-rating evaluation, should be load posted, rehabilitated or replaced. This module informs designers of load ratings, and discusses the LRFR methodology used for load rating evaluation.