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The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 243 [Completed (IDEA)]

Establishing NDE Protocols for Use in Early Age Bridge Deck Preservation Strategies
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $137,850
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: Infratek Solutions Inc.
Principal Investigator: Amir Rezvani
Effective Date: 1/1/2023
Fiscal Year: 2022

This NCHRP IDEA project was aimed at developing innovative non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methodologies to detect and address early signs of deterioration in newly constructed bridge decks. The research leveraged advanced NDE techniques, including high-resolution surface imaging, hairline crack mapping, and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys, to create a comprehensive vulnerability index for early-age bridge deck preservation. The primary objective was to establish reliable, data-driven protocols for identifying early deterioration indicators often missed by conventional inspection methods. By integrating traditional and AI-based data processing techniques, the project sought to provide accurate and actionable insights into the condition of bridge decks. The research methodology encompassed the development of NDE protocols, laboratory and field data collection, and the processing and analysis of data to generate vulnerability maps highlighting areas susceptible to moisture ingress and crack propagation. Key findings indicate that the combination of crack density and dielectric constant data produces a vulnerability index that can help asset owners prioritize preservation activities based on objective metrics. Field data collection on 23 bridge decks across Delaware, Texas, Iowa, and Indiana robustly validated the protocols, ensuring practical applicability and high potential for integration into existing maintenance workflows. Implementing these advanced NDE protocols offers significant benefits, including timely interventions to prevent minor issues from escalating, resulting in substantial cost savings through reduced maintenance expenses, and enhanced decision-making via a data-driven approach. This study underscores the critical role of early detection and innovative data processing in extending the service life of bridge decks and improving overall infrastructure management.

The Final Report is available at this link.

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