CIRIA published C543 Bridge Detailing Guide in 2001, with a primary objective of improving the understanding and effectiveness of construction details specific to highway bridges. Prior to this guide it had become clear that much of the post construction cost of managing bridges was entailed in their maintenance. It was also acknowledged that the disruption created by maintenance works was becoming increasingly frustrating to the public and importantly having a measurable. impact on national productivity.
Bridge owners and operators had come to recognise that the most common cause driving maintenance need was poor detailing particularly where this allowed water ingress into the bridge structure.
The creation of C543 was driven with a primary objective to improve the quality and standardisation of construction details with a specific focus on reducing the potential for water ingress into the structure of highway bridges and represented the best understanding and knowledge of the time.
Since the publication of C543 it has become widely adopted in the UK and Ireland and in the design of highway carrying bridges. It is referenced in both the UK and Irish Design Manual for Road and Bridges (DMRB). The document is typically included in a Bridge Design Basis Statement (an Approval in Principle Report (AIP) and commonly appears as a mandated requirement in contracts.
At a practical level, the guidance is welcomed by bridge designers for its straightforward presentation of details and concise descriptions
It is now timely to reflect on the past 20+ years development in bridge design and further learning gained form experience in the use of the guidance and the physical performance of its guidance.
A draft proposal has been developed and fundraising will be underway soon.
For further information please contact Andy Moores or Sarah Fray at CIRIA.