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Behaviour of bridge bearings and expansion joints; state-of-the-art-report (AGB2000/405)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Expansion joints and bearings for road bridges must comply with strict requirements, which in practice are often underestimated. Any damage to these two components of a bridge structure immediately restricts its serviceability, so that immediate action is required in order to re-establish the capability of bridge to carry loads safely and be fit for normal use.

There are old standards SIA 160 and ASTRA for constructional details of bridges cover expansion joints and bridge bearings.


Determine the state of the art for steel expansion joints and bearings for road bridges.

Identify quality requirements and product characteristics of expansion joints and bridge bearings.


Survey involving 7 Departments of Public Works in various Swiss cantons and 7 manufactures and suppliers.

Discuss the problems in individual meetings.

Preparing conclusions in cooperation with stakeholders.

Preparation of final report.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Final Report on expansion joints and bridge bearings (attached).

Revision of Directive ASTRA "Constructional details of bridges" (Chapter 1 and 2).

Other results

Current situation of steel expansion joints and bearings is not satisfactory in these ways:

  • although the owners specify requirements for expansion joints and bearings, they are at the same time aware that these only cover certain individual aspects of both components;
  • the manufactures/suppliers are confronted with requirements that are uncoordinated, liable to change and often not quantified.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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