Value-engineering methodology for the selection of an optimal bridge system

Ahmad A. Mousa, Mohab Hussein, Ahmed Kineber

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Maintaining and enhancing the functionality of the infrastructure at an affordable cost are major challenges for decision makers, particularly given the need to cope with growing societal and transportation demands. This study introduces a systematic multi-criteria value engineering (VE) approach for the selection of a sustainable bridge system. A thorough VE analysis for a proposed long-span bridge in New Jersey, USA was carried out as a pilot study. The function analysis system technique was used to develop logical relationships between the project’s functions. A detailed 100-year life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) was conducted. The study developed and evaluated eight alternative designs for deck and superstructure systems against set VE criteria comprising constructability, maintenance strategies, and environmental impact. A relative value index was used as an unbiased measure for the selection of the optimal structural system. With total savings of approximately 21% of the original design ($132.5 million), steel plate girders with a high-performance lightweight steel grid deck system have proven to “outvalue” the other alternatives, including the preferred preliminary alternative (PPA). Design engineers and decision makers can use this methodology as a systematic and convenient guide for the selection of economical and sustainable bridge systems. As such, it is necessary to re-evaluate the current practices and policies used for this purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-498
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • bridge management
  • cost–benefit analysis
  • economic impacts


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