May 16, 2022

Transportation: Reference: New One-Stop Resource to Search, Access Data About Bridges in the U.S.

From the U.S. Department of Transportation:

In 2008 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) launched its largest and most robust bridge research endeavor, the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program, a 20-year study of U.S. bridges—our transportation network’s most critical links.

The Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, was competitively selected as the primary university partner on LTBP and, for the last 8 years, has been working with FHWA to provide a detailed and timely picture of bridge performance.

Through this UTC-FHWA collaboration, CAIT created the LTBP Bridge Portal, a new web-based product that comprises bridge information mined from a wide range of datasets. Combined, these data encompass nearly every characteristic and biographic fact that can influence bridge performance: construction, design, age, dimensions, elevation, weather data, traffic data, weigh-in-motion data, maintenance/repair records, and more.

The LTBP Bridge Portal is a very powerful tool with a deceptively simple, customizable user interface and options not available in any one dataset it draws from. In a single intuitive web environment, users can query the system via simple or advanced searches using built-in filters and get tailored, comprehensive answers at lightning speed. It even has a function that can calculate deterioration curves based on historical data.

Since the portal pulls from multiple resources, users get exhaustive query results and the ability to drill down to a micro level.

Let’s say you want to know how many bridges in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware are at least 60 feet long, 25 years old or older, and have average daily traffic volumes greater than 5,000 vehicles. How many of those received a “poor” condition rating on at least 30 percent of the deck upon last inspection? How many are steel girder construction versus box girder? What is the inspection history for each bridge on I-95 in those three states?


Query results can be displayed in 1-D or 2-D charts and graphs, as map graphs, or in a GIS interface that superimposes the data on Google Maps. Users can then apply region selection tools and customizable markers to see “data within the data” and even zoom in to street views and photos of the bridge where available.

The system lets users export results as Excel, PDF, or KML (Google Earth) files as well as save queries to access or edit later. A built-in web tour outlines all of the portal’s features and how to use them.

Read the Complete Launch Announcement, View Screenshots

Direct to LTBP Bridge Portal
Registration is required to access, free. 

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.