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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Bridge design and assessment criteria

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For feedback or enquires about Bridge Design and Assessment Criteria, please email Technical Publications.

The following criteria cover the design requirements and load capacity assessment requirements for new and existing bridges.

Volume 1: Design criteria for bridges and other structures

This criteria covers design requirements for bridges, tunnels, large signs and other road-related structures to ensure they are functional, robust, durable and safe. It defines procedures and provides the technical criteria required to design new structures and to widen and strengthen existing bridges for service life and durability.

Design criteria for bridges and other structures

Superseded versions

Due to ongoing works under contract the following superseded versions are available for reference. Note these are provided as a reference only and are not suitable for new contracts.

For older superseded versions please email Technical Documents to request a copy.

Volume 2: Tier 1 Bridge heavy load assessment criteria

This criteria covers the requirements for analysing bridges and assessing their capacities to carry specific load cases (i.e. heavy vehicles).
This criteria is currently being updated, and has been temporarily removed.

Please email for advice about updated criteria until new criteria is published.

Volume 3: Level 3 Inspection Criteria for Potentially Structurally Deficient Bridges

This criteria covers a “Level 3 Inspection” when the Tier 1 Assessment identifies a Potentially Structurally Deficient Bridge (PSDB) for freight vehicles (as-of-right MCVs). The focus of this Level 3 Inspection is to determine if the defect is the same as the potential structural deficiency identified in the calculations.

Level 3 Inspection Criteria for Potentially Structurally Deficient Bridges   

Volume 4: Tier 2 assessment criteria

This criteria will be available shortly.  It will provide an assessment process undertaken when a Tier 1 assessment indicates that a bridge has a theoretical structural deficiency and the calculated deficiency is not confirmed by a bridge inspection. 


The following annexures should be read in conjunction with the criteria listed above.

Annexure S01: Frame models of complete bridge structures for tier 1 assessments 
Annexure S02: Modelling deck unit bridge superstructures for tier 1 assessments 
Annexure S03: Tier 1 assessment of shear in concrete short span bridges to AS 5100 and AS 3600 
Annexure S04: Tier 2 assessment of shear in concrete short span bridges

Last updated 10 May 2024