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Project Development > Bridge Design > Bridge Design Manual

The 2015 Bridge Design Manual was developed to provide guidance to design engineers, technicians, and inspection personnel engaged in bridge design, plan preparation, construction, and inspection activities for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. It encourages uniform application of design methodology and criteria, as well as standard details in plan preparation for bridges and other related structures.

This Manual is intended to supplement and provide interpretation of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications and is an aid for the layout, design, and preparation of plans and details for highway structures. It is not intended to be a textbook on structural engineering, but instead is a guide to general practices followed by NHDOT Bridge Design personnel.

This Manual does not address all conceivable problems that may arise during the project development/design process, but is intended to be a sufficiently comprehensive bridge engineering guide when applied with sound engineering judgment.  A thorough knowledge of the contents of this Manual is essential for efficient engineering of NHDOT highway structures.

The Bridge Design Manual should be used in conjunction with the Bridge Design Drawings (Bridge Detail Sheets, Bridge Details, and Sample Plans). It does not replace, modify, or supersede any provisions of the New Hampshire Standard Specifications, plans, or contracts.

Updating the Bridge Design Manual is a continual process, with revisions being made periodically. Suggestions for improvements and updating of this Manual are always welcome. Design changes will be issued through Design Memorandums, which will remain in effect until superseded by an update to the Bridge Design Manual. Changes to this Manual must be approved by the Administrator of the NHDOT Bridge Design Bureau.

Design Memorandums

  • Active Memorandums
    Design Memorandums are issued as interim updates to the Bridge Design Manual. They supersede the contents of the Manual and will remain in effect until superseded by a chapter revision.
Number Date Subject
2022-02 12/21/2022 NHDOT Precast Concrete Soundwall
2022-01 11/21/2022 NHDOT Precast Concrete Components Special Provision
2020-01 11/5/2020 Revised Temporary Barrier for Bridge Projects
2018-01 1/25/2018 Revised Cast-in-Place Deck Haunch Detail, Prestressed Partial-Depth Concrete Deck Panel
2017-01 10/27/2017 LRFD Design for OHSS, ITS Supports and their Foundations; Straight Anchor Rods for Foundations
2016-01 3/14/2016 Bridge Railing Bending Requirements
2014-02 6/12/2014 Discontinuance of Aluminum Bridge and Approach Rail
2011-01 3/2011 Deck and Box Beams
  • Inactive Memorandums
    These memorandums have been incorporated into the latest revision of the Bridge Design Manual. They are provided to document and clarify the evolution of the Manual.
  • Number Date Subject
    2018-03 5/15/2018 Temporary Barrier for Bridge Projects
    2018-02 4/4/2018 Preformed Closed Cell Expansion Joints
    2017-02 12/12/2017 Cast-in-Place Deck Haunch Detail, Prestressed Partial-Depth Concrete Deck Panel
    2014-02 3/04/2014 Bridge Deck Expansion Joints
    2014-01 1/21/2014 Bridge Design Website Changes
    2013-01 3/20/2014 Vehicular Collision Pier Protection
    2012-01 3/20/2014 Sign Structures
      10/01/2004 Deflection Notice

Bridge Design Manual

  • Date Issued : January 2015
  • Version: v2.0
  • Full Manual: Bridge Design Manual (pdf, xx MB) (not completed)
  • Individual Chapters:
Chapter Description
Document Size
Revision Date
Revisions Made
  Cover 324 KB June 2020  
  Table of Contents 171 KB June 2020  
  Foreword 178 KB February 2016  
Chapter 1 General Information 6.2 MB March 2016 Revision History
Chapter 2 Bridge Selection 20.2 MB August 2018 Revision History
Chapter 3 Preliminary Design Requirements 1.4 MB February 2016 Revision History
Chapter 4 Loads and Load Factors 1.0 MB March 2016 Revision History
Chapter 5 Seismic Design and Retrofit 945 KB    
Chapter 6 Substructure 13.6 MB August 2019 Revision History
Chapter 7 Superstructure (partially completed) 4.1 MB August 2019 Revision History
Chapter 8 Concrete Structures (not completed)      
Chapter 9 Miscellaneous Structures (not completed)      
Chapter 10 Non-Bridge Structures 11.3 MB August 2019 Revision History
Chapter 11 Preparation of Plans 3.4 MB June 2020 Revision History
Chapter 12 Overview of Exisitng Bridge Section, Bridge Inspection, and Load Ratings 1.8 MB June 2019  
Chapter 13 Untitled (not completed)      
Chapter 14 Municipal Bridge Program (not completed)      

  • Updates to individual chapters of the Bridge Design Manual will take place as needed.
  • Manual Manager:

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483 | 7 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH | 03302-0483
Tel: 603.271-3734 | Fax: 603.271.3914

copyright 2015. State of New Hampshire