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NATIONAL NCHRP SYNTHESIS 375 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Bridge Inspection Practices A Synthesis of Highway Practice
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2007 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS Chair: Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Vice Chair: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT, Austin ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg JOHN D. BOWE, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, GA ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, Washington, DC NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville ANGELA GITTENS, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, MA ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley HAROLD E. LINNENKOHL, Commissioner, Georgia DOT, Atlanta MICHAEL D. MEYER, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington JOHN R. NJORD, Executive Director, Utah DOT, Salt Lake City PETE K. RAHN, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR ROSA CLAUSELL ROUNTREE, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Senior Professor, Washington University, St. Louis, MO C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin STEVE WILLIAMS, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR EX OFFICIO MEMBERS THAD ALLEN (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC THOMAS J. BARRETT (Vice Adm., U.S. Coast Guard, ret.), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA PAUL R. BRUBAKER, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC J. RICHARD CAPKA, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT SEAN T. CONNAUGHTON, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC JOHN H. HILL, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC J. EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC NICOLE R. NASON, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT JAMES S. SIMPSON, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT CARL A. STROCK (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC ROBERT A. STURGELL, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT *Membership as of October 2007.
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 375 Bridge Inspection Practices A Synthesis of Highway Practice CONSULTANT GEORGE HEARN University of Colorado, Boulder S UBJECT A REAS Bridges, Other Structures, Hydraulics and Hydrology, and Maintenance Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2007 www.TRB.org
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 375 Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 20-5 (Topic 37-05) approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0547-5570 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN 978-0-309-09795-6 interest and can best be studied by highway departments Library of Congress Control No. 2007907340 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and © 2007 Transportation Research Board others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a COPYRIGHT PERMISSION coordinated program of cooperative research. In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for American Association of State Highway and Transportation obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or Department of Transportation. practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment was requested by the Association to administer the research of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and material, request permission from CRP. understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation NOTICE subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation the program concerned is of national importance and appropriate with respect matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. a position to use them. The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and The program is developed on the basis of research needs to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as to the National Research Council and the Board by the American appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. qualified research agencies are selected from those that have Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research committee according to procedures established and monitored by the contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing and the Transportation Research Board. Board of the National Research Council. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW NOTE: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the Washington, DC 20001 National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual and can be ordered through the Internet at: states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academys í p urposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scien- tific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Insti- tute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation depart- ments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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NCHRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT 20-5 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research CHAIR Programs GARY D. TAYLOR, CTE Engineers CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs MEMBERS EILEEN DELANEY, Director of Publications THOMAS R. BOHUSLAV, Texas DOT DWIGHT HORNE, Federal Highway Administration NCHRP SYNTHESIS STAFF YSELA LLORT, Florida DOT STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs WESLEY S.C. LUM, California DOT JON M. WILLIAMS, Associate Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies JAMES W. MARCH, Federal Highway Administration GAIL STABA, Senior Program Officer JOHN M. MASON, JR., Pennsylvania State University DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer CATHERINE NELSON, Oregon DOT DON TIPPMAN, Editor LARRY VELASQUEZ, New Mexico DOT CHERYL KEITH, Senior Program Assistant PAUL T. WELLS, New York State DOT TOPIC PANEL FHWA LIAISON RICARDO GONZALEZ, Texas Department of Transportation WILLIAM ZACCAGNINO RAYMOND HARTLE, Michael Baker, Jr., Inc., Moon Township, Pennsylvania TRB LIAISON TERRY D. LEATHERWOOD, Tennessee Department of STEPHEN F. MAHER Transportation FRANK N. LISLE, Transportation Research Board PETER C. MCCOWAN, New York State Department of Transportation DENNIS R. MERTZ, University of Delaware TODD THOMPSON, South Dakota Department of Transportation PETER WHITFIELD, California Department of Transportation THOMAS D. EVERETT, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) CALVIN KARPER, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) Cover photograph: St. Johns Bridge, Portland Oregon. (Courtesy: Oregon Department of Transportation, Bridge Inspection Pocket Coding Guide, 2007.)
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FOREWORD Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- By Staff mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and prac- Transportation tice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, Research Board full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviat- ing the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and eval- uating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway community, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials--through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program--authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Proj- ect 20-5, "Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems," searches out and syn- thesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE This synthesis reports on bridge inspection practices in the United States and selected for- eign countries. Specifically, it is a collection of information on formal inspection practices of departments of transportation (DOTs). For U.S. inspection practices, information is pre- sented on inspection personnel (staff titles and functions, qualifications, training and certifi- cation, inspection teams, and the assignment of teams to bridges), inspection types (focus, methods, and frequency), and inspection quality control and quality assurance by the DOT inspection programs. Foreign practices are also presented according to inspection personnel, types, and quality programs. Also examined are uses agencies make of information gathered from bridge inspections, what triggers repairs, and plans for future development of inspec- tion programs. Information from Canadian sources can be found in Appendix C. Information for the study was collected through a DOT survey and reviewed bridge inspection manuals. Information was also obtained from 7 European transportation agen- cies and the South African transportation agency. George Hearn, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Uni- versity of Colorado, Boulder, collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This syn- thesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Transportation Agencies and Information Sources, 3 Overview of Inspection Practices, 3 7 CHAPTER TWO TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES U.S. Inspection Inventory, 7 Administrative Levels, 7 Road Agencies in Other Nations, 7 Bridge Inspection Inventory--Foreign Agencies, 12 13 CHAPTER THREE INSPECTION PROGRAM PERSONNEL U.S. Inspection Staff Titles, 13 Responsibilities of Inspection Program Staff, 14 Qualifications of Inspection Staff, 15 Inspection Teams, 16 Inspection Program Staff--Foreign Agencies, 16 Qualifications of Inspection Staff--Foreign Agencies, 18 Inspection Teams--Foreign Agencies, 24 26 CHAPTER FOUR INSPECTION TYPES AND INTERVALS U.S. Inspections, 26 Inspection Types--Foreign Road Agencies, 30 Underwater Inspection--Foreign Agencies, 37 Bridge Condition Data--Foreign Agencies, 38 Access for Inspections--Foreign Agencies, 42 44 CHAPTER FIVE QUALITY PROGRAMS Quality Programs of U.S. State Departments of Transportation, 44 Quality Assurance, 45 Quality Programs--Foreign Practice, 46 48 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS 51 REFERENCES 52 APPENDIX A U.S. STATE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENTS' INPUT ON FEDERAL REGULATIONS 53 APPENDIX B QUESTIONNAIRE
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70 APPENDIX C BRIDGE INSPECTION PRACTICES OF CANADIAN TRANSPORT AGENCIES 90 APPENDIX D INFORMATION RESOURCES AND RESPONDENTS 94 APPENDIX E DETAILS FOR PROGRAM INSPECTION PERSONNEL 145 APPENDIX F DETAILS FOR INSPECTION TYPES AND INTERVALS 170 APPENDIX G DETAILS FOR QUALITY PROGRAMS