Best Practices for Modernizing MDOT Bridge Design Manual, Guides, and Policy Documentation.

Project Summary
Project Number:
Contract Number:
Contract 2016-0070 Z5
Start Date:
End Date:


Bridge, Design Policies, Design Manual, Design Guides, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Legacy Documents, Standard Plans.



The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Bridge Design Manual (BDM) is a comprehensive and authoritative reference for the MDOT Design Engineers and consultants. BDM provides specifications and guidelines for the design of bridges and other major structures while the Bridge Design Guides (BDG) provide the guidance for designing and detailing bridge plans. The current record keeping and institutional Knowledge Management (KM) process practiced by MDOT related to BDM and BDG is dependent on key people to piece together background information when considering policy revisions/updates. Thus, this project was initiated to catalogue and organize historical bridge design reference information and to develop a secure KM and Information Management (IM) environment that will provide information of the highest quality that is timely and accessible to facilitate and enhance decision-making and implementation with the goal of promoting uniformity in bridge design practices. The primary activities completed during this project include synthesizing best practices for documenting decisions and managing documents, scanning and archiving historical bridge design policy information, developing a KM framework to document decisions and archival and retrieval of information, and developing procedures and recommendations to implement the KM framework. One of the outcomes of this project is a proposed workflow to capture knowledge through a structured process and documenting in a folder structure. Also, a database structure is proposed to document updates/revision activities in a chronological order with respect to BDM/BDG structure.


Project Organization


Research Manager Project Manager Performing Organization(s)
Michael Townley Brad Wagner Wayne State University