A recently developed Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) technique is applied to the detection of the damage locations of bridge structures. The HHT may be used to identify the locations of damages which exhibit nonlinear and non-stationary behavior, since the instantaneous frequency characteristics of the measured signal can be analyzed by the HHT. Numerical simulations were conducted on two bridge systems with damages using controlled excitations with sweeping frequency. Nonlinear plastic model using a gap element is employed to model the behavior of the cracked elements in the numerical simulations. The results indicate that the HHT method can reasonably identify the damage locations based on a limited number of acceleration sensors. Experimental study has been 실so carried out on a steel frame to confirm the applicability of the HHT to detect a structural connection with loosened bolts.