A new method for crack identification of bridge beam structures under a moving load based on wavelet analysis is presented. Crack is modeled through rotational springs whose compliance is evaluated using linear elastic fracture mechanics. Dynamic behavior of the cracked beam subject to moving load is analyzed using mode superposition. The response obtained at a single measuring point is analyzed using continuous wavelet transform and the location of the cracks is estimated. The locations of the cracks are determined from the sudden changes in the spatial variation of the transform responses. To estimate the relative depth of the cracks, a damage factor is established which relates the size of the cracks to the coefficients of the wavelet transform. The proposed method is validated by both simulation and experiment. Locations of multiple damages can be located accurately, and the results are not sensitive to measurement noise, speed and magnitude of moving load, measuring location, etc. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.