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Best Practices for Bridge Management and Inspection Jeremy Shaffer, Ph.D. InspectTech Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practices for Bridge Management and Inspection Jeremy Shaffer, Ph.D. InspectTech Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practices for Bridge Management and Inspection Jeremy Shaffer, Ph.D. InspectTech Systems

2 Outline Overall Goals/Purpose Bridge Inspection –Basics and Requirements –Details of Approaches Bridge Management –Needs/Approaches –Examples Utilizing technology to improve Conclusions Questions

3 Goals for Bridge Inspection and Management Ensure optimal safety and operational capability in the most efficient manner. –Inspection is used as the eyes/ears of the program to find and document the current condition including any problems –Management utilizes the inspection data along with the organizations priorities to determine the most efficient way to ensure goals are met (i.e. safety, performance, capacity)

4 High-Level Current State of Affairs Aging Infrastructure High Construction and Maintenance Costs Tighter Budgets Data Overload on Owners New Regulations Bigger Need + Fewer Resources = ? No room for errors or wasted efforts

5 Need for Inspections Regulations/Laws –New FRA requirements –State/Intl. specific laws Liability –Insurance or bond requirements Best Practice for Maintenance –Much cheaper to fix problems early than later Sustaining Reliable Operations

6 Types of Inspection Visual Inspections –Primary type Cusory, In-Depth, Special, etc. –Performed yearly (most locations) –Identify overall conditions and areas for additional exploration Advanced Technology for Detailed Data –NDE/NDT approaches –Destructive testing –On-going monitoring/sensors

7 Inspection Requirements Often driven by disasters; some examples related to highway bridges –Silver Bridge Collapse 1967 –Mianus River Bridge Collapse 1983 –Schohaire Creek Bridge Collapse 1987 –Hoan Bridge Failure 2000 –I-35W Bridge Collapse 2007 When disaster happens, new rules can come quickly

8 Critical Parts of Inventory/Inspection Inventory of all Bridges/Culverts –Need to know what is there and basic properties –Geometric data, material information –Drawings/Plans (with all repairs/rehabs) Condition data on all structures –Current information –Past information

9 Inspection Condition Data Quantification via a Rating Scale –Need to be able to compare relative conditions within a structure and between structures Subjective results via Narrative Text –Need to be able to have descriptions indicating the scope and nature of the condition

10 Supporting Information Pictures –Digital pictures for overall inventory and every deficiency Videos –Can be appropriate to show time based effects of live loads or multiple angles Sketches/Drawings Test/Sensor Results –Boring information, Stress readings

11 Level of Detail Level of detail of inspection data can vary greatly from entity to entity Minimum requirements can be less than 1 page per bridge Some entities collect over pages per bridge.

12 Level of Details Span by Span vs Entire Structure –Can inspect and rate every span and pier individually –Can group similar spans and rate as a group (ex:approaches, main span, approaches) –Entire structure as a single entity

13 WMATA Inspection Program –Structures are divided into primary sub-parts (Abutments/Piers, Spans, CrossBox, etc.) –Forms are unique for the type of the sub- component (i.e. Steel Box Girder vs. Concrete Box Beam) –Multiple inspectors work on the same bridge independently, rolled up to bridge summary of all parts.

14 Example Form

15 Component or Element Level Inspection Detailed Component Level: track conditions and problems to specific main components (specific: bearing: joint, or chord) Element Level: Quantify specific elements of the structures (i.e. superstructure steel) and specify the exact amount in different condition states

16 Shortline Report Example



19 Detailed Inspection Example (Individual Bearings)

20 Importance of QA/QC Studies have shown results from visual inspections can vary significantly by inspector Having detailed review process is highly recommended to help ensure accuracy of results obtained Inaccurate results can lead to poor decisions via bad prioritization and/or wasted effort Common approach is to spot-check 5-10% of structures and/or critical components

21 Bridge Management Basics Few entities have unlimited funds. Setting and developing priorities is an important function of bridge managers. Bridge funding must be justified against other priorities. The options available for management can be limited by extent and detail of current and past information available Deterioration and trade-off modeling possible with extensive details

22 Bridge Management Basics Maintaining and monitoring a scheduled maintenance activities program for a bridge can significantly extend service life –An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – Ben Franklin –Would you drive your car and never change the oil? Do we effectively do that with many bridges?

23 Bridge Management Need a repository of all bridge data –Easily accessible (from multiple locations) –Searchable format to quickly find data –All current/past data Tools –Maintenance Need Prioritization –Budgeting and Capital Planning –Visualization via Mapping/CAD

24 Risk Based Management Risk Based Management takes into account the multiple variables/objectives Example of two part metric –Likelihood of Failure –Consequence of Failure Can weight different factors based on importance –i.e.: Safety, Capacity, Detour length, Cost

25 Individual Maintenance Needs Tied to Risk (Example)

26 Life Cycle Costing Important to Consider Overall Life Cycle Cost of decisions from design to repairs Often lower initial cost leads to much greater costs over time –Example: A slightly cheaper design may save $20,000 initially but cost $150,000 more over a 100 year life-cycle in greater inspection and maintenance costs

27 Plans of Action Plans of Action develop a predefined series of actions that should be taken –Event Based Floods (level exceeds certain threshold) Seismic (over certain magnitude) –Time Based Every 5 years do an Underwater Inspection Every 10 years re-inventory all data

28 Utilizing Software to Assist Inspections generate a large amount of text and file based data Ideal for software to assist in collecting and managing Allows information to be easily searchable and retrievable

29 Benefits of Computerized Inspections Eliminate mistakes during the transcription process Ability to integrate in detailed manuals and error checks Easy incorporation of pictures and other attachments One-click generation of reports Field/Office data entry options

30 Benefits of Computerized Management Ability to instantly retrieve all information –Current and Past –Text and Pictures –Maintenance needs and actions Prioritize based on desired metrics/variables Integrated Mapping/Visualization Standard or ad-hoc report generation

31 Many Reporting Options Estimated Remaining Service Life

32 Visualization (Mapping)

33 Visualization (CAD) Increasing use to allow for detailed location and easy visualization of any problem

34 CAD Details 3D Solid Model or 2D plan views Represent only the details that user cares about Utilize color for different layers – condense to single color for search results Ability to turn on/off layers Information all driven off database and web-interface

35 Many Possible Tools but Remember Purpose To ensure a safe and reliable infrastructure for customers/users. To protect the investment into the infrastructure by detecting structural problems before they deteriorate to the point where they create unsafe conditions or threaten operations.

36 Conclusions Inspections form the foundation of a good bridge program Active management is important to the most efficient use of funds Software can significantly improve the ongoing management of bridge data and provide useful tools for engineers

37 Questions

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