A Perceptional Investigation into The Adoption of Timber Bridges

Robert L. Smith, Robert J. Bush


Perceptions of major bridge materials by four distinct groups of decision-makers were investigated within five geographic regions of the United States. Timber was rated lowest in perceived performance within each group and region. Timber was compared to prestressed concrete, steel, and reinforced concrete on eight preselected attributes. Timber was rated lowest on the attributes of low maintenance, easy to design, long life, and high strength. Only on the attribute of easy to construct did the rating for wood exceed the rating for reinforced concrete. On no attribute did timber rate higher than prestressed concrete. Highway officials who have participated in the Timber Bridge Initiative program rated timber as a bridge material statistically higher in overall performance than those highway officials who have not participated in the program.


Perceptions;timber bridges;factor analysis;highway officials

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