Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Robert L. Smith; Robert J. Bush; Daniel L. Schmoldt
    Date: 1997
    Source: Proceedings, 1997 ACSM/ASPRS Annual Convention and Exposition. 4: 140-150.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (84 KB)


    Effective decisions on the use of natural resources often require the input of many individuals. Determining how specific criteria affect the selection of materials can lead to better utilization of raw materials. Concrete, steel, and timber represent over 98% of the materials used for bridge construction in the United States. Highway officials must often consider alternate materials for the best application for bridges. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to characterize the bridge material decision process of highway officials in selected states. State Department of Transportation Engineers, private consulting engineers, and local highway officials were personally interviewed to identify this often subjective decision and to model the selection decision for different groups of decision makers. Prestressed concrete was the material choice in the majority of cases. This was followed by reinforced concrete, steel, and timber. The most important criteria were maintenance requirements, lifecycle costs, and lifespan of material. Local highway officials chose timber more often than other highway officials.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Smith, Robert L.; Bush, Robert J.; Schmoldt, Daniel L. 1997. The Selection of Bridge Materials Utilizing the Analytical Hierarchy Process. Proceedings, 1997 ACSM/ASPRS Annual Convention and Exposition. 4: 140-150.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page