Quantifying Benefits of Bridge Maintenance

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  06/16/2021


Bridge maintenance and preservation treatments slow bridge deterioration and extend service life. In order to reflect the quantitative impact of bridge maintenance and preservation on bridge performance, Departments of Transportation (DOTs) typically have deterioration models or service life extension values that are based on expert elicitation. Research on quantifying the benefits of bridge preservation and maintenance, based on actual bridge data has been limited, if any. Consistently, the variables used for quantifying the impact of preservation in past research studies have either been assigned by expert elicitation, or the service life of treatments, as provided for specific bridge preservation products. Also, performance of bridge preservation treatments and their impact on bridge condition is highly dependent on bridge characteristics and external factors (e.g. traffic volume, climate, bridge condition). Therefore, there is imminent research need to quantify the impact of bridge preservation based on actual data sets for state DOTs. Proposed research will review and assess the maintenance history data collected by MnDOT, integrate it with relevant historic bridge condition and analyze it by incorporating relevant bridge characteristics. One of the research products will be decision trees that would be used by planners, designers, bridge engineers, and public works managers to guide the selection of cost-effective bridge maintenance actions. The decision trees will include guidance on the ideal timing and frequency of these treatments, as guided by the data analyses. Research findings are anticipated to improve bridge preservation decisions in Minnesota and lead to more cost-efficient decisions.

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