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SAMCO Final Report 2006 F09 Report on Bridge Management

4.5 Italy (SPEA)

The problem of the maintenance of structures is currently becoming more and more important and the resources allocated to it have non-negligible weight on the budget of the structures’ operators.

It is now in fact a consolidated opinion that structures are subject to ageing partly because of the specific use they are intended for, and partly due to the environmental agents affecting them. These two factors together are of particular importance as it regards the maintenance of road structures, where the need has now become press- ing to check that nothing occurs to jeopardise the conditions of structures, their dura- tion and the safety for the users.

A correct maintenance policy calls, first of all, for the surveillance of structures, since its precise implementation is the first step to be taken in order to assess the durability of structures as well as to define the most suitable maintenance actions under the technical and temporal point of view.

In Italy surveillance is carried out through a series of operations aiming at drawing up, maintaining and keeping up to date the monitoring records and the documenta- tion regarding the structures. On the basis of the data collected from the records, specific “inventory charts” are drawn up. These enable the immediate identification and location of every structure, as a whole, together with its main administrative and technical data.

The types of inspections carried out in Italy are described below and summarised in Table 10.

General inspections. This is a visual examination of all parts of the structure, which can be visually inspected from the ground and deck level. They are carried out quar- terly, in obedience to the Italian law by trained personnel. A general inspection by an engineer is carried out once a year. Defects revealed on the bridges are rated ac- cording to the classification given in Table 11. The results emerging from this kind of inspections are reported on special forms, together with short comments regarding irregular behaviours occurred and the possible need to carry out more careful inspec- tions. Therefore general inspections are allowed to have general information about the condition state of the structures. On the basis of the indications highlighted by the general inspections, both principal and special inspections are planned.

Principal inspections. This is a close examination within touching distance of all in- spectable parts of the structure. It may require the use of a moveable platform thus interfering with the circulation. They are scheduled in function of the level of deterio- ration shown. Defects are recorded on a geometric representation of the structure and its component parts.


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