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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 532: Seismic Design of Non-Conventional Bridges documents seismic design approaches and criteria used for “non-conventional” bridges, such as long-span cable-supported bridges, bridges with truss tower substructures, and arch bridges.

Design of conventional bridges for seismic demands in the United States is based on one of two American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) documents: the AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Bridge Design Specifications (AASHTO BDS) (1) or the AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (Guide Spec) (2). The stated scope of these documents for seismic design is limited to conventional bridges.

Non-conventional bridges outside the scope of these two AASHTO documents, such as cable-supported bridges and long-span arch bridges, are typically high value investments designed with special project criteria. There is no current AASHTO standard seismic design criteria document specific to these non-conventional bridges. Seismic design criteria for these non-conventional bridges are typically part of a broader project-specific criteria document that addresses the special character of the bridge type.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Seismic Design of Non-Conventional Bridges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

142 pages | 8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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