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Course Description

Fracture Critical Inspection Techniques for Steel Bridges

PROGRAM AREA: Structures
Instructor-led Training (ILT)Instructor-led Training (ILT)
Calendar Year
Host Price
3.5 Days
2.5 Units
$1025 Per Participant
3.5 Days
2.5 Units
$1025 Per Participant

TRAINING LEVEL: Intermediate

CLASS SIZE: Minimum: 20 Maximum: 30


The course curriculum for this training reflects current practices, while addressing new and emerging technologies available to bridge inspectors. In addition, the course features exemplary training; hands-on workshops for popular types of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) equipment; and a case study of an inspection plan for a fracture critical bridge.

The first day of the training focuses on the concept of fracture critical members (FCMs), FCM identification, failure mechanics, fatigue in metal, and an overview of NDE methods. Day two includes demonstration sessions and hands-on applications of NDE techniques for dye penetrant, magnetic particle testing, Eddy current testing, and ultrasonic testing. Days three and four emphasize inspection procedures and reporting for common FCMs, including problematic details, I-girders, floor beams, trusses, box girders, pin and hanger assemblies, arch ties, eyebars, and cross girders/pier caps. The course will conclude with a case study detailing the preparation of an inspection plan of a fracture critical bridge. Additionally, the course instructors will tailor discussions of topics based on State needs and requirements.

"This training will help inspectors evaluate bridges more thoroughly and will provide them with additional knowledge in how structures work and what can take place when they don't work," states Bill Drosehn, district bridge inspection engineer for the Massachusetts DOT.

Note: Hosts are required to provide safety goggles for all course participants as well as a well-ventilated space for conducting the dye penetrant demonstration.


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify fracture critical members (FCMs)
  • Identify problematic details
  • Identify areas most susceptible to fatigue and fracture
  • Record defects
  • Evaluate defects
  • Evaluate nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods
  • Evaluate retrofit details


Those who will benefit most from this training are public and private sector bridge inspectors, supervisors, project engineers, and others responsible for field inspection of fracture critical steel bridge members. Prior to taking this course, participants should have completed NHI course 130055, Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges, or possess equivalent field experience relative to bridges. Participants also should have a thorough understanding of bridge mechanics and bridge safety inspection procedures as required by the National Bridge Inspection Standards.

If you have questions about this NHI training, please contact NHI at or 877.558.6873.


Start Date: 11/01/2016
End Date: 11/04/2016
Local Coordinator: Debra Rizzieri (443) 224-1775
No Public Seats Available
Please contact the Local Coordinator to enroll in this session.
0 FHWA Seats
Start Date: 11/15/2016
End Date: 11/18/2016
Location: BOISE, ID
Local Coordinator: Garth Newman (208) 334-8039
0 Public Seats
$1025 Per Participant
3 FHWA Seats
Start Date: 11/29/2016
End Date: 12/02/2016
Local Coordinator: Richard Keenan (617) 305-4110
6 Public Seats
$1800 Per Participant
3 FHWA Seats
Start Date: 12/05/2016
End Date: 12/08/2016
Local Coordinator: Bill Dittrich (317) 234-6220
15 Public Seats
$1025 Per Participant
1 FHWA Seats
Start Date: 1/10/2017
End Date: 1/13/2017
Location: PIERRE, SD
Local Coordinator: Amanda Olson (605) 773-2371
No Public Seats Available
Please contact the Local Coordinator to enroll in this session.
2 FHWA Seats

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Host this Course

The National Highway Institute (NHI) has been accredited as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, NHI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, NHI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.


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