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WORK PACKAGE 9: PRACTICAL BRIDGE MANAGEMENT - page 15 / 67

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SAMCO Final Report 2006 F09 Report on Bridge Management

most effective maintenance actions. This will result in a reduction of the economic needs

Finally, all the information may be used as a feedback at the design and construction stage: to give indications on the type of materials and static scheme more suitable for the environment, where the structure will be built and for the foreseeable traffic.

3.3 Bridge management

Bridge management addresses all the activities that concern the life of a bridge from design and construction, through maintenance, surveillance and monitoring, to even- tually replacement, and it is aimed at ensuring its safety and functionality also in terms of minimum traffic disruptions, efficiency and quality of the service offered to customers.

Deterioration of bridges may lead to a number of undesirable consequences such as:

  • Loss of serviceability;

  • Loss of load carrying capacity;

  • Reduction in safety (of structures and/or of traffic);

  • Increase in traffic restrictions;

  • Loss of aesthetic value.

Management of bridges for owners of large infrastructures as well as for local au- thorities is becoming a critical problem, as while the bridges are ageing and transport is expected to increase in the future, on the contrary, the available funding allocated to management and maintenance is limited so that it will be necessary to extend the service life of structures while minimising the overall costs.

The problem is further complicated as bridges and their component parts may dete- riorate at different rates and following different mechanisms as they are exposed to different macro and micro climates. Moreover bridges of similar construction may vary in age, structural scheme, materials, composition of traffic, presence of latent defects, all factors that can significantly affect the rate of deterioration.

It is therefore of the utmost importance to know the actual conditions of bridges and to predict their future state. Monitoring and assessment are therefore two important inputs in the general framework of the bridge management.

www.samco.org

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