Guidelines to Improve the Quality of Element-Level Bridge Inspection Data

The introduction of element inspection condition methods in the early 1990s represented a significant advancement in bridge inspection practice and has been adopted by the vast majority of the state transportation departments in the United States. Bridge owners nationwide have recognized the benefits of detailed condition assessments through the use of the raw inspection information, expanded performance measures, and bridge management system deterioration forecasting and evaluation (AASHTO Manual for Bridge Element Inspection, First Edition, 2013). With the adoption of the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Element Inspection by the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures in 2013, to meet the requirements in the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)” legislation and to ensure the safety of the motoring public, the bridge owners need guidelines to promote (1) consistency in the collection of element-level data for bridges on the National Highway System (NHS) and (2) collection of reliable data that support asset management practices. The objective of this research is to develop guidelines to improve the quality of element-level data collection for the NHS Bridges in reference to the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Element Inspection. At the minimum, the guidelines should include recommendations to: (1) improve consistency in data collection and assessment of bridge element conditions and (2) establish accuracy levels for element conditions and applicable defect quantities to support bridge management system deterioration forecasting and evaluation. Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks. TASKS - PHASE I—Planning (1). Conduct a literature review of bridge element inspection practices, inspection protocols, and bridge inspection quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) to determine the current state of knowledge and how the bridge element inspection data are used in bridge asset management. This information shall be assembled from published and unpublished reports, contacts with academia, and transportation agency and industry experiences. (2). Conduct a survey of bridge owners and other stakeholders to collect data relevant to the research objective. Follow up with participants as needed to clarify any anomalies in the responses. The survey plan including questions and participants shall be submitted to the NCHRP for review and approval prior to distribution. (3). Define the characteristics of quality bridge element inspection data. (4). Identify the factors that affect the quality and consistency of bridge element inspection within the context of the state and national bridge program requirements (e.g., element descriptions, quantity calculations, and condition state definitions; inspection protocols; inspector qualifications; and the reporting process of bridge element condition data to the Federal Highway Administration). (5). Propose a methodology and field inspection exercise to achieve the research objective and provide an outline of the proposed guidelines to be developed in Phase II. The research team should use state-collected bridge element inspection data. The field inspection exercise, to be conducted in Phase III, should involve different inspectors, include transportation agencies, and cover all the bridge elements in reference to the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Element Inspection to validate the proposed guidelines. (6). Prepare Interim Report No.1 that documents the result of Tasks 1 through 5 as well as the data archiving plan (see Special Note C) and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project. This report is due no later than 4 months after the contract award. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II through IV. PHASE II—Guidelines Development (7). Develop the guidelines according to the approved Task 5. (8). Revise the field inspection exercise based on the results of Task 7, and the panel’s review of Interim Report No. 1. (9). Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents the result of Tasks 7 and 8 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project. This report is due no later than 9 months after the contract award. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases III through IV. PHASE III—Field Inspection Exercise and Validation of Proposed Guidelines (10). Conduct the field inspection exercise according to the approved Task 8. (11). Revise the guidelines based on the outcome of the field inspection exercise and develop examples demonstrating the use of the established accuracy levels for element conditions and applicable defect quantities. (12). Prepare Interim Report No. 3 that documents the result of Tasks 10 and 11 no later than 6 months after approval of Phase II. PHASE IV—Final Products (13). Update proposed guidelines after consideration of review comments and propose modification to the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Element Inspection and other AASHTO related publications, if necessary.(14). Prepare a final report that documents the entire research effort.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 12-104

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Start Date: 20150811
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181031
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37555

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543352
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 12-104
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 13 2014 1:01AM