This study created an information base to improve decisions about the replacement or rehabilitation of historic truss bridges. During the first phase of the research, information on the history and design of the 109 bridges in the study was assembled. With the assistance of historic preservation professionals, 75 of those bridges were selected for further study for their potential for rehabilitation. During the second phase, the KTC research team, engineers from the KYTC bridge division, and 12 highway district engineers, who are responsible for the day-to-day care and maintenance of the bridges, evaluated the condition and functional context of the 75 bridges. The goal was to identify those that are good candidates for preservation through rehabilitation. The district engineers were of the opinion that only 14 of the 75 bridges needed to be replaced. However, there was an additional subset of 13 bridges that, in their opinion, present some significant obstacles to preservation related to functional inadequacy or some other problem with the bridge. The bridge engineers estimated considerably higher levels of effort to preserve these 13 bridges (an average of 7.42 on a 10 point scale) than for the 48 remaining bridges (an average of 3.82 on the 10 point scale).

Report Date


Report Number


Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or the policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

© 2013 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center, Information may not be used, reproduced, or republished without our written consent.