HIGHWAY TECHNET VIRTUAL EXPO STRUCTURES INDEX
Bridge Inspection and Bridge Management
Bridging the Infrastructure Gap
DP-71 Bridge Management Systems
More than 30 percent of the Nation's 575,000 highway bridges are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. These deficient structures represent significant impediments to the safe, economical use of the highway system and result in safety hazards, high user costs, and huge outlays for preservation and replacement. Balanced against this backlog of bridge needs is a generally inadequate level of funding by public agencies for infrastructure needs.
The collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967 was the catalyst for what became a comprehensive bridge safety inspection program mandated by the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS). Every bridge on a public road must be inspected at least every 2 years and highway agencies across the Nation have inspection staffs and programs that collect and update critical bridge inventory and inspection data. After almost 20 years, a manifest need still exists to more effectively analyze this data, to better define bridge needs, and to find effective solutions.
The complexities and costs associated with preserving the Nation's bridge infrastructure demand innovative approaches to collection and analysis of data and prediction of current and future bridge preservation actions. These needs, coupled with the availability of modern analytical methods and high-speed computers, are leading to the development of comprehensive bridge management systems. Prior to the late 1980s, there were no existing management systems adaptable to the management of bridge programs nor was there any clear definition of key bridge management principles or objectives. Therefore, in cooperation with AASHTO, California DOT, and a specially formulated technical working group (TWG) representing several State DOTs, OTA was able to establish the following primary requirements of a comprehensive Bridge Management System (BMS):
HIGHWAYTECHNET VIRTUAL EXPO STRUCTURES INDEX
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration