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76 to summaries for a bridge network), the bridge(s) may be To investigate nondestructive evaluation equipment selected by district, county, owner agency, custodian agency, that can assess bridge structural integrity for facili- function class, NHS or non-NHS, defined administrative ties that use advanced materials; area, defined bridge grouping, or inspector responsibility. To study the costs and benefits of using carbon-fiber The categories of standard reports are as follows: composites in lieu of traditional materials in bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction; and Inspection Reports present information on the bridge To study establishing a Bridge Advanced Condition inventory, current and historical information on bridge Assessment Pilot program to encourage application condition and performance, and inspection schedules. of new, real-time technologies to bridge condition Bridge Preservation Needs and Projected Work are evaluation, particularly for critical bridge elements. presented in a series of network-level reports covering These technologies will include fiber optic, vibrat- unconstrained and constrained needs, details on rec- ing wire, acoustical emissions, and peak-strain ommended preservation actions and their cost and per- displacement. formance implications, and tabulations of programmed To respond as needed to other provisions of H.R. and unmet needs and related performance measures. 3999 and S. 3338. If these provisions are passed Project Reports produce information on needs, work into law substantially in their current form, specific candidates, projects, estimated costs versus available research efforts may be needed to assist the FHWA and budget, and funding sources and amounts as applying U.S.DOT in responding to the following congressional to proposed work on individual bridge structures. requirements: To develop an analytic method to assign risk-based priorities for rehabilitating or replacing SD and FO Research Needs bridges; To define procedures and approval criteria for 5-year Recommendations by industry experts, responses to the sur- performance plans by state DOTs covering bridge vey conducted in this synthesis, provisions of congressio- inspections and rehabilitation or replacement of SD nal legislation defining research needs, and research-related and FO bridges; implications of the recommendations of the recent GAO To design procedures and criteria for the annual HBP review are consolidated and summarized in the fol- compliance reviews of state DOT bridge inspec- lowing research topics. tions, quality assurance and quality control pro- cedures, load ratings, and weight-limit postings of To improve management practices and their capa- structurally deficient bridges; bility to support agency decision making, research To define "critical findings" regarding bridge defi- is needed. ciencies and establish the procedures, materials, To attain more comprehensive, detailed, and real- and criteria for reporting such critical findings and istic analyses of bridge condition and performance monitoring and correcting these deficiencies; and through better data and analytic procedures; and To develop a training program for inspectors on To create a more risk-based, data-driven approach critical findings to bridge management and resource allocation, To provide research that may be needed to support advancing beyond the current limitations of relying GAO's recent recommendations on the federal HBP solely on NBIS-based investment criteria for bridge (see chapter four). Research could potentially help in rehabilitation and replacement. the following areas: To seek fundamental advances in bridge inspection To define the specific national goals of, and federal and condition- and performance-monitoring tech- interests served by, the HBP; nology. This research need has been identified by sev- To develop performance measures that respond to, eral sources, among them state DOT executives, other and reflect progress toward, these federal goals and industry experts, and Congress in its draft legislation. interests; The stated goals of this research range from more To identify best-practice methods and tools that can reliable and cost-effective gathering of bridge condi- be incorporated within the HBP, drawing on exist- tion and performance data to a completely automated ing approaches such as BMSs and leading-edge method of gathering such quantitative data comprehen- techniques applied by state DOTs; and sively and objectively. As examples, the current House To review and evaluate mechanisms that can and Senate bills, H.R. 3999 and S. 3338, mandate the align HBP funding with performance to achieve a following technological research studies: focused, sustainable federal bridge program.