Best Practices for the Rehabilitation and Moving of Historic Metal Truss Bridges

Report No: 06-R31

Published in 2006

About the report:

The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Historic Resources are responsible for the management of about 30 historic truss bridges. All too often, these structures do not meet today's traffic demands or safety standards. Their general deterioration requires disassembly and relocation, rehabilitation and re-erection, or storage. The technology and materials used to build them are no longer in use, and many of the people with practical experience are no longer working. Little information is readily available on safely and effectively identifying and performing necessary operations. VDOT's Knowledge Management Division and the Virginia Transportation Research Council interviewed active and retired engineers, consultants, field personnel, environmental specialists, and architectural historians to collect best practices related to pin-connected and riveted truss bridges. The report is organized using the process followed for the recent rehabilitation of a historic truss in Goshen, Virginia, and discusses the issues faced by those moving and rehabilitating historic metal truss bridges.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Ann B. Miller
  • Robert W. Saufley, Thomas F. Lester, Wallace T. McKeel, Jr., P.E., Katherine S. Clark, William H. Bushman

Last updated: November 26, 2023

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