Session #1-3: How to Teach a Specification

August 17, 2021 1:00 pm

Mike Culmo, P.E., Chief Bridge Engineer, CHA Consulting, Inc.

Description:  Professors are very good at teaching theory.  Engineers are faced with taking theory and applying it to meeting codes and specifications, which are often word smithed by code writers and sometimes lawyers.  Misinterpretation of code and specification language is an often-cited source of problems with design.  This module will cover common AASHTO code format and how they should be interpreted.  The legal meaning of key words like “shall”, “should”, “may” and “recommended” are important to understand.  Even punctuation and units within provisions can have a dramatic effect on proper interpretation of provisions.  These common AASHTO specification formats will be reviewed and clarified.

Presentation #1 pdf:  AASHTO LRFD - Presentation



Michael P. Culmo, P.E.
Chief Bridge Engineer
CHA Consulting, Inc.
Office: 860-290-4100


Mike is a Bridge Engineer with over 36 years of experience in the design of steel, concrete, prestressed concrete and timber bridges. He has special expertise in the field of accelerated bridge construction technologies and constructability engineering. Mike is the principal author of numerous publications in the field of ABC, including the 2018 AASHTO LRFD Guide Specifications for Accelerated Bridge Construction.  He is a licensed professional engineer.