Highway Bridge Design Course using the latest version of AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications

Instructor: Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, Ph.D., P.E.

Date: Monday August 24, 2020 through December 12, 2020


This semester-long course is devoted to the design of highway bridges using the latest version of AASHTO’s LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, with an emphasis on steel superstructure design. The topics familiarize attendees with the intent and background of AASHTO’s LRFD Bridge Design Specifications provisions and prepare participants to make educated decisions when needed. The class is practically oriented and focuses on understanding the background and intent of the design provisions and how to implement them in routine designs. The materials presented in the class are selected from an upcoming textbook on steel bridge design being developed by Dr. Azizinamini and will represent state-of-the-art knowledge.

Included in the topics to be covered are the latest trends in Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC), Service Life design of bridges, Gusset plate design and necessary checks using the correct concurrent loading conditions, available tools that designers could utilize in highway bridge design developed by ABC-UTC at FIU, and tips for economical steel bridge design. The course will also include complete design calculations for three-span continuous steel bridges, and the complete design example will be used to demonstrate the various design provisions.

Tentative List of Topics to Be Covered in the Course:

Following is a tentative list of topics to be covered in the course. Course attendees will receive copies of all the materials to be presented in the class. Course will include number of short and long examples.

  • Brief background on the development of AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications;
  • Distribution factors for highway bridge design for various load conditions and limit states;
  • Defining various terms and their intents in the specification, such as compact, non-compact, and slender sections, etc.;
  • Constructability limit state and responsibilities of bridge designers;
  • Service limit state;
  • Fatigue and fracture limit state;
  • Strength limit state;
  • Design provisions for positive section;
  • Design provisions for negative section and use of Appendix A;
  • Design for shear;
  • Tips for economical ways of I-girder and box steel bridge designs;
  • Gusset Plate Check and rating steel bridges, using concurrent force method;
  • Cross frames and their role in the performance of steel bridges, including various cross frame detailing in presence of high skew;
  • Defining Fl term and suggestions for estimating it;
  • Economical steel bridge systems for short and medium span bridges, including simple for dead load and continuous for live loads systems;
  • Addressing stability considerations during construction;
  • Trends in ABC, various ABC construction techniques, and available resources;
  • Rating bridges using load testing, with examples;
  • Retrofitting existing bridges, with examples; and
  • Available analysis and design tools.


The materials to be presented in this course are included in a textbook being developed by Dr. Azizinamini on bridge design. Copies of all presented materials will be provided to attendees for free. It is recommended that attendees have access to the latest version of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. Course materials will also include providing attendees with free access to a number of tools that could be used in design office.

Who Should Attend the Course

The course is ideal for those either currently working on credit towards a graduate degree or to learning highway bridge design without credit while obtaining continuing education credit through FIU. The following information is applicable for various groups in registering for the class. For each option, please use the link that is provided to obtain the detailed information for the registration process.

Instructor’s Bio- Atorod Azizinamini, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, P.E., is Vasant Surti Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the newly formed Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability, which includes the Moss Construction Management Department and Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as well as research centers at FIU. Dr. Azizinamini is also the Director of Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (www.abc-utc.fiu.edu) and the Preeminent Institute for Resilient and Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure (InteRaCt) at FIU.  He has developed several bridge engineering products and systems that are being used nationally and internationally, among them: Ultra High Performance Concrete Shell Technology, Folded Steel Bridge Girder Technology, composite systems, and simple for dead and continuous for live load system for steel bridges. Under the Second Highway Research Program (SHRP2) R19A, established by the United States Congress, he led the development of the first and most comprehensive document devoted to service life design of concrete and steel bridges, which later resulted in development of the AASHTO’s Guide for Service Life Design of Bridges. Dr. Azizinamini was Distinguished College of Engineering Professor and Director of National Bridge Research Organization (NABRO) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before joining FIU in January 2011. He has published more than 200 technical publications related to structures and bridge engineering, routinely gives keynote talks at major national and international bridge engineering conferences, and has received a number of national awards. In October of 2015, Dr. Azizinamini was awarded the 2015 White House Champion of Change: Transportation Innovator, in a ceremony held at the White House. His additional awards include the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Special Achievement Award and several bridge innovation awards. He has served as a consultant on major bridge engineering initiatives around the world, including Service Life Design of the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Nebraska and Montana.

For more information contact Dr. Atorod Azizinamini at aazizina@fiu.edu