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Preservation treatment for wood bridge application


Jake Bigelow
Lowell Greimann
Terry J. Wipf



Publication type:

Miscellaneous Publication

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory


Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. No. 2108 (2009): p. 77-85.


Timber can often be a cost-effective construction material for new bridges. The durability of the bridge greatly depends on proper attention to construction details and fabrication, as well as proper preservative treatment before, during, and after construction. Material repair and replacement costs for bridges are a considerable expense for highway agencies. To address these needs, the objectives of an investigation were to determine the field effectiveness of various treatment alternatives used on Iowa roadway projects and to provide information on preservative treatments, inspection techniques, and current specifications for bridge owners. Special emphasis was placed on providing up-to-date synthesized information for county engineers to maintain their timber bridge inventory more effectively. The project scope included a literature review, identification of testing techniques, on-site inspections of bridges in Iowa, and a review of current specifications and testing procedures. On the basis of information evaluated, these general conclusions were made: copper naphthenate was recommended as the plant-applied preservative treatment for timber bridges, American Wood Protection Association Standards and Best Management Practices should be followed to ensure high-quality treatment of timber materials, and bridge maintenance programs would be enhanced by the development of an effective construction and remedial treatment process to improve bridge durability.


Bigelow, Jake; Lebow, Stan; Clausen, Carol A.; Greimann, Lowell; Wipf, Terry J. 2009. Preservation treatment for wood bridge application. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. No. 2108 (2009): p. 77-85.


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