Approval of Bridges on Public Roads

Wyoming Statute 24-2-106 establishes, in part, provisions for the preparation or approval of plans and specifications for all bridges to be built on public roads not under the administration of the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

"No contract for the construction of a bridge is valid unless the plans and specifications have been prepared by the director of the department of transportation or the chief engineer or, if prepared by other professional engineers, the bridge designs, plans and specifications have been approved by the director or the chief engineer before the start of construction. The review and approval under this section shall be made without cost to cities, towns and counties. Final payment upon any contract shall not be made until the bridge is inspected and the payment approved by the designer of the bridge and the appropriate governing body."

Review and approval will be needed for all new bridges or culverts erected over a depression or an obstruction; such as water, highway or railway, that carry traffic or pedestrian moving loads and having an opening measured along the center of the road of more than twenty (20) feet. This would include spring lines of arches, or extreme ends of openings for multiple barrel box culverts; it may include multiple pipes, where the clear distance between openings is less than half of the smaller contiguous opening.

The new structures will be included in the FHWA National Bridge Inventory (NBI). To meet minimum federal requirements, WYDOT will need adequate information to perform bridge inspections, load ratings, and scour evaluation.

To request approval of a new structure, please submit all of the following information:

  • Final structural designs
    • The designer shall prepare the designs, plans and specifications in accordance with either the current AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges or AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications and generally accepted sound engineering practices.
    • Design computations shall be furnished for all portions of the bridge and include references to applicable AASHTO specifications and other design criteria. Any other governing standards or criteria affecting elements of the design shall also be included in the design submittal.
    • If precast or prefabricated elements are being used and will be designed by the fabricator after letting, note this in the submittal. The fabricator’s design and details will need to be reviewed and approved once completed.
  • Final structural details
    • Drawings accurately depicting all structural units making up the final bridge shall be furnished on 11" x 17" sheets.
    • The details shall contain specific details, dimensions, reinforcing details, material callouts and explanatory notes to enable the department to adequately review the drawings and the construction contractor to build the resultant bridge.
  • Geotechnical report
  • Hydraulic report (if new structure spans a waterway)
    • Report will need to include scour evaluations for the design, 100 year and 500 year events.
  • Applicable design and construction specifications

All submitted information must be stamped by a Wyoming registered professional engineer.

The department will strive to provide review comments or approval within two to three weeks from receiving the full submittal.

Send the necessary submittals to or request additional information by contacting:

Michael E. Menghini, P.E.
State Bridge Engineer
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Bridge Program
5300 Bishop Blvd
Cheyenne, WY 82009
(307) 777-4427