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SAMCO Final Report 2006 F09 Report on Bridge Management

4.6 Germany (BaSt )

The federal road network of Germany contains a large number of bridges and other highway structures. The maintenance programs to be prepared for this purpose re- quires a high budget, and influences the traffic infrastructure and, thus, the economy and society as a whole. Due to growing volumes of traffic and higher weights of trucks, bridges in roads are subjected to increasing loads, which implies that mainte- nance costs will be rising in the future. Considering the fact that financial resources become continuously tighter, the maintenance costs have to be spent in a way to obtain the greatest possible benefits. This task will in the future be supported by the application of a Management System (Bridge Management System, BMS).

The competencies and tasks related to road construction are specified in the consti- tution of the Federal Republic of Germany. In accordance with the German basic law, the Federal Government is the owner of the federal road network. The states admin- ister these roads under their own responsibility as authorities commissioned by the Federal Government.

An important task of administrators is the observation and inspection of the structural inventory. To ensure a constant supply of actual data concerning existing structures, the structural data are registered, stored and evaluated by the administrative authori- ties of the states with the help of electronic data processing equipment. In Germany these data are acquired and stored in accordance with the instructions ASB (Road Database Instructions), 1998 edition1. The SIB-Structures program system (Road Information Database - Structures) was conceived and realised simultaneously to the ASB; this system is intended for the registration, storage and evaluation of the struc- tural data and is introduced by the state agencies. In addition SIB-Structures is also used for registration of data concerning inspection results and damage, maintenance measures as well as maintenance costs. Beside this, SIB-Bauwerke contains a tool to analyse data on network level and to produce statistics.

To improve the information situation at the federal level, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing is presently developing a database titled BISStra (Federal Road Information System) and an analysing tool titled ISBW (Information System – Structures) to include and to analyse state-level data in accordance with the ASB. BISStra also includes a linkage to traffic- and accident related data and it contains a global information system (GIS).

DIN 1076 ”Engineering Structures in Connection with Roads; Observation and In- spection” 2 regulates the technical observation, inspection and testing of the stability and traffic-safety of bridges and other engineering structures in connection with roads. Inspections are performed by an experienced civil engineer who records dam- ages and faults directly at the structure supported by the SIB-Bauwerke program sys- tem. The German practice includes the types of inspections listed in Table 12.





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