Climate Change Impacts on Asset Management of Texas Concrete Bridges

Texas has more than 55,000 bridges, where more than 50% of the bridges are over 40 years old, approaching their design life span with increasing maintenance and rehabilitation needs. There has been a concerning accelerating trend of bridges in Texas transitioning from the “good” to “fair” condition over the past 20 years. Despite these facts, bridge assets are also facing everincreasing traffic demand due to population increase and urbanization, and are exposed to more intense environmental threats due to climate change which can chronically degrade the bridges’ structural condition and traffic carrying functionality. Moreover, there has been strong evidence that greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic activities have greatly affected the global climate system. As a result, climate change may cause huge impacts on the performance and functionality of transportation infrastructure, where the changing CO₂ concentration, temperature, and relative humidity can exacerbate the material deterioration. However, traditional Markov state transition models and statistical regression models, despite their prevalent applications in bridge deterioration modeling and asset management, cannot faithfully reflect the deterioration of bridge conditions under future climate uncertainties, and they also suffer from the lack of parameterization on critical factors (e.g., climate measures and bridgespecific parameters). On the other hand, physics-based deterioration modeling can explicitly capture the contributions from temperature, humidity, and CO₂ concentration, as well as bridge materials properties and geometries in the time-dependent deterioration process. Yet, such physics-based deterioration modeling has received limited attention in the state of practice of bridge asset management, and there is a lack of regional-level and physics-based risk assessment framework to gauge the future changing climate impacts on bridge asset deterioration and management. To fill this gap, the proposed research aims to probabilistically quantify the long-term climate change impacts on the deterioration of Texas concrete bridge portfolios. Specifically, this technical phase of this project will (1) Select and downscale state-ofthe- art climate change models for the state of Texas; (2) Develop physics-based bridge deterioration model and calibrate it against historical National Bridge Inventory (NBI) bridge condition data; and (3) Develop a quantitative risk assessment framework that integrates the climate change forecasts with physics-based structural deterioration models to offer probabilistic spatial-temporal forecast of the Texas bridge asset deterioration extent. By linking the deterioration extent to the direct and indirect socioeconomic consequences, new insights will be afforded regarding the efficacy of different risk mitigation strategies to better inform the stakeholders toward better long-term focused and cost-effective bridge asset management. For the implementation phase, an interactive dashboard that incorporates the research outcomes from the technical phase will be developed to facilitate interactive visualization and decision-making. It could also serve as training materials for workforce development and engagement with stakeholders to disseminate the research findings. The proposed research will be synthesized into undergraduate and graduate level courses offered by the PIs. This synergy between research and education will get students better prepared for their future career as project managers in broad civil infrastructure industry. Two graduate students will be supported and mentored during the project period, and such experiences will equip the students with a competitive skillset and foster the next-generation transportation researchers and practitioners. The research outcomes will be disseminated to the broader transportation community through presentations at conferences such as the annual Tran-SET and TRB conferences as well as journal publications. Outreach activities through summer programs available at UTSA will offer summer research mentorship to underrepresented undergraduate STEM students as well as to intrigue undergraduates in pursuing graduate school.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • 22PUTSA62


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
  • Project Managers:

    Mousa, Momen

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas at San Antonio

    One UTSA Circle
    San Antonio, TX  United States  78249
  • Principal Investigators:

    Du, Ao

  • Start Date: 20220401
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01844796
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747106
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: May 6 2022 4:00PM