The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 52-02 [Active (Synthesis)]

Bridge Element Data and Use
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Principal Investigator: Basak Bektas
Effective Date: 9/16/2020
Fiscal Year: 2021

Final Scope

State departments of transportation (DOTs) have been transitioning to using element inspection data for documenting bridge conditions since 2014. This condition assessment methodology offers a significant opportunity to improve the timing, cost efficiency, and accuracy of bridge maintenance, rehabilitations, and replacement decisions. However, there is no standard guidance on achieving those benefits. Bridge management platforms such as AASHTOWare BrM can combine these data with other inputs to forecast future conditions and recommend optimal plans for a portfolio of bridges.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that state DOTs that receive the inspection reports are taking numerous approaches to using the data. Many DOTs rely on general condition ratings reported to the National Bridge Inventory for bridge maintenance and investment decisions. Still others have begun to incorporate the element level data into those decisions.

The objective of this synthesis is to document current state DOT practice and experience regarding collecting and ensuring the accuracy of element level data. The synthesis will also examine how DOTs are using the data from inspection reports.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
• Practices for collecting element level data (e.g., collection software, nondestructive evaluation methods);
• Practices and methods for ensuring the accuracy of the data collected;
• DOT business processes that use element level data (e.g., project scoping, maintenance, bridge asset management modeling and analyses, performance measurement and reporting); and
• Aspects of DOT bridge management systems that use element level data (e.g., deterioration models, action types, action costs, decision rules, performance indices).

Information will be collected through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):
• NCHRP Scan Team Report for Scan 07-05, Best Practices in Bridge Management Decision-Making (2009). (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP20-68A_07-05.pdf
• Utah DOT, Bridge Management Manual (2017). https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Qnl3isRKugZl9kyCFS11GCIPiVfKQNFF/view
• NCHRP Web-Only Document 259, Guidelines to Improve the Quality of Element-Level Bridge Inspection (2019). http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/178842.aspx
• Joint Transportation Research Program FHWA/IN/JTRP-2016/13, Element Level Bridge Inspection: Benefits and Use of Data for Bridge Management. https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jtrp/1606/
• AASHTO Technical Services Program, Bridge Preservation BMS Working Group survey
Bridge Preservation BMS Working Group:
AASHTO Technical Services Program: https://tsp2bridge.pavementpreservation.org/ 

TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 16, 2020, Washington, DC
Teleconference with Consultant: October 19, 2020, 11:00 am, ET 
Second Panel: June 9, 2021, Washington, DC

Topic Panel

Margaret-Avis Akofio-Sowah, WSP
Drake Builta, Texas Department of Transportation
Xiaohua Hannah Cheng, New Jersey Department of Transportation
Michael Hill, Arkansas Department of Transportation
Scott Neubauer, Iowa Department of Transportation
Pingbo Tang, Carnegie Mellon University
Derek Constable, Federal Highway Administration

James Bryant, Transportation Research Board
Jo Allen Gause, Transportation Research Board

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