Document Type



In this study, the reliability of prestressed concrete (PC) bridge girders in the shear rating process is quantified, where the use of a simple procedure to enhance the accuracy of shear capacity evaluation for rating is evaluated. It was found that the approximate methods used in code-based procedures to develop shear resistance used for reliability calibration of the AASHTO Bridge Design Specifications and the Manual for Bridge Evaluation result in larger discrepancies in reliability than previously assumed, as well as substantially conservative shear capacity evaluation in most cases. To examine the effects of using a more accurate shear rating process, a selection of typical PC bridge girders designed and rated for Michigan legal loads is considered as an example. For the example girders, use of existing methods resulted in some reliability indices below the required levels. However, use of the more accurate procedure resulted in shear reliability indices that met the target reliability index, thus preventing unnecessary traffic restrictions as well as avoiding potentially rating structures unconservatively.


Civil Engineering | Construction Engineering and Management | Structural Engineering | Transportation Engineering


This is the Final Draft version, submitted to ASCE after peer review and prior to copyediting or other ASCE production activities, of an article appearing in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering. This material may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This material may be found at