Damage and Deterioration Assessment Decision-Making for Highway Bridge Safety

Bridge owners in most countries routinely assess bridge damage and deterioration to ensure the safety of the traveling public and appropriately manage the service life of a bridge. While in service, bridge owners discover damage or deterioration under two main circumstances. Firstly, damage or deterioration resulting over longer periods of time, and secondly damage or deterioration appearing instantaneously. “Triggers” or causes of this damage or deterioration include; environmental impacts, increased live loads, deicing applications, poor detailing in the design phase, poor construction materials and specifications, severe loading events, natural disasters, impacts, construction defects or by human error. At times, this discovery of damage and deterioration may lead to a bridge closure, traffic restriction, or weight restriction. This will result in damage assessment techniques, load carrying capacity calculations, and subsequent remedial works to return the bridge into service.

The objective of this paper is two-fold; (1) to provide an updated perspective on best practice damage assessment techniques used by bridge owners around the world and (2), to produce a decision process for bridge owners to use as a guide during any damage assessment. The PIARC TC D.3 Bridges Technical Committee workgroup determined a general questionnaire would be required to accomplish the first objective and a diverse collection of worldwide case studies was necessary for the second objective.

The bridge damage assessment techniques were evaluated from responses from 14 countries whom provided several techniques employed in their respective countries. The bridge assessments techniques were compared to results from the 2011 RO7 “Inspector Accreditation, Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Assessment for Bridges” World Road Association report to determine new trends or confirm exiting techniques.

28 worldwide case studies were received from 15 unique countries. The workgroup took a unique approach with these worldwide case studies by using them to evaluate a draft decision-making process. The results of this evaluation were then used to verify, revise and augment the decision-making process. In addition, influencing factors with respect to the decision-making process were identified.

Owners can use the upcoming PIARC produced report decision making process as an important reference with respect to the current damage assessment techniques or to guide them through a bridge incident to ensure the safety of the traveling public.

  • Date : 2019
  • Author(s) : Comité technique / Technical Committee / Comité Técnico D.3 Ponts / Bridges / Puentes
  • Domain(s) : Road Bridges
  • PIARC Ref. : 2019R28EN
  • ISBN : 978-2-84060-562-1
  • Number of pages : 66

This site uses cookies to optimize its operation. They allow you to securely access your personal space and download our publications. You accept their use by clicking on the "Continue" button.