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500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 Phone 202.334.2569 Fax 202.334.3510 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.TRB.org July 5, 2016 Mr. Gregory G. Nadeau Administrator Federal Highway Administration U.S. Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE HOA-1, Room E87-314 Washington, DC 20590-9898 Re: 7th Letter Report of the TRB Long-Term Bridge Performance Committee Dear Mr. Nadeau: I am writing to report the findings and recommendations developed at the meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Committee which was held on May 10â11, 2016. As explained in earlier letter reports, this Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) long-term program addresses the challenges faced by federal, state, and local transportation agencies in the operation and maintenance of their deteriorating highway bridges. The program will collect research-quality data on a large representative sample of in-service U.S. highway bridges and analyze these data to improve understanding of the mechanisms and timing of bridge deterioration due to age, materials, traffic, and weather. The data collection and analysis will also help evaluate the effectiveness of intervention options in ameliorating this deterioration. Through a contractual arrangement with FHWA, the National Research Council of the National Academies provides advice and assistance on the conduct of the LTBP program through the work of its TRB LTBP Committee (âthe committee,â âwe,â âourâ). The agenda of the meeting consisted of informational briefings and status reports by members of the FHWA LTBP Research Team and the chair of the committeeâs Expert Task Group on LTBP Special Activities, each followed by a question-and-answer period and discussion. Among the topics addressed were the following: â¢ LTBP program status â¢ LTBP Business Plan â¢ LTBP activities status o Protocol development o Data collection o Bridge Portal operation and enhancement o Deterioration modeling methodology o Cost analysis modeling methodology
o State coordinators o Bridge timelines â¢ Bridge dynamic characterization â¢ 2016 NDE1/SHM2 forum â¢ NDE overlay study â¢ 2017 workshop integrating NDE and SHM â¢ Pooled fund WIM3 study â¢ TRB Bridge DAWG4 At the conclusion of these open sessions, the committee held a closed session to deliberate on its findings and formulate its consensus advice,5 which follows: LR07/1 The committee thanks the LTBP Team for responding to our request for a copy of the LTBP Business Plan (âthe planâ) and recognizes the effort required to develop it. The plan is an insightful exposition of the FHWA's vision of how this long-term research into the performance of the Nation's highway bridges will yield results that can influence how such bridges will be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in the future. The plan is also the blueprint for the design and implementation of near-term program activities, and the basis of annual operational plans for the activities underway. The plan will not be static, but will be updated regularly to reflect progress and address new challenges. We applaud the commitment of your LTBP Team to continually operate the program in accordance with an up-to-date business plan. The document that we received is a well-organized first draft; we look forward to a finalized plan. As the plan's long-term vision, blueprint for near-term activities, and design of annual operational efforts are more fully developed, we look forward to more specifics concerning the products to be developed and the schedule and resources required. We recommend that the plan be finalized, adopted, and implemented as soon as possible. We request a report at our next meeting on the status of this planning effort. LR07/2 We understand that the deterioration and life-cycle cost modeling methodologies that LTBP is striving to develop are based on NDE data from cluster bridges and legacy bridge data, and could be used to manage bridge inventories and establish correlations with state-specific bridge performance data. Further clarification would be helpful of the role of these methodologies in the development 1 Nondestructive evaluation. 2 Structural health monitoring. 3 Weigh-in-motion. 4 Data Analysis Working Group. 5 The committee's advice is presented as a set of pairs of findings and recommendations. A finding is a conclusion based on the meetingâs reading materials, presentations, and discussions. A recommendation is an action suggested as a consequence of this finding. Each findingârecommendation pair has a designator (letter report number/findingârecommendation number) to facilitate future referencing. The usual format of a findingârecommendation pair is one or more paragraphs summarizing the committeeâs finding and a paragraph containing the committeeâs recommendation. The recommendation is italicized and underlined.
of data-driven decision-making tools, and of any requirement for state agencies to perform their own data collection and analysis before the tools can be used. We recommend that the plan explain how these methodologies will be calibrated and used and that it define the research results and products that LTBP will deliver so that state agencies can ascertain what they may be required to develop in order to use these products. LR07/3 There are certain elements that, if added, could improve the plan. The committee suggests that the next version of the plan include â¢ A glossary of the terms used; â¢ Terms that are more descriptive than âtreated decksâ and âuntreated decksâ; â¢ A graphical mechanism, such as the dials on a motor vehicleâs dashboard, to communicate quantifiable progress in all efforts; â¢ A description of the role and quantification of the value of the RABIT6 bridge deck assessment tool as a cost-saving system for LTBP field data collection and analysis; and â¢ A list of other efforts focused on bridge performance and an assessment of the potential for coordination. LR07/4 We appreciate receiving a live demonstration of the LTBP Bridge Portal (âthe portalâ). The demonstration was interesting and confirms our belief that the field monitoring data that LTBP is collecting to complement other types of data will be viewed ultimately within the highway bridge community as the programâs principal product. In the future, such demonstrations would have enhanced positive impact if more specific queries were used to show state agencies how they would benefit from use of the portal to access NDE and inspection data above and beyond basic inventory data. Such focused queries would answer skeptical usersâ typical question of an unfamiliar new tool: âWhatâs in it for me?â We recommend that further live demonstrations of the portal use sample queries that are more relevant and attuned to the interests and needs of the targeted audience. We request a status briefing on this enhancement at our next meeting. LR07/5 As a user interface with the LTBP database, the portal works well as a research tool but, as is the case with all such tools, practice and coaching are required to learn how to take full advantage of its power. If the portal is to be used widely as a source of data for highway bridge research, design, operation, and maintenance, its navigation and search capabilities must be intuitive and easy to handle. The committee recommends that a plan be developed for simplifying the use of the portal as a source of information concerning the LTBP program and the highway bridges being studied. 6 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/tfhrc/programs/infrastructure/structures/ltbp/ltbpresearch/rabit/index.cfm.
LR07/6 We concur with the LTBP Team's decision to replace treated decks with steel girders as the "next step" in LTBP research, because the protocols for data collection on steel girders are ready, the types of steel girders have been defined, and some data collection is already underway. This change of research subject will widen the focus of LTBP research to include untreated decks, joints, bearings, girders, and interactions between decks and girders. We also concur that some change is needed because protocols for documentation, visual inspection, and NDE data collection for decks treated with asphalt overlays are not ready. However, research could proceed now on decks treated with other types of overlays, and later on decks treated with asphalt overlays -- when the protocols for documentation, visual inspection, and NDE data collection of such decks are ready. We recommend that LTBP proceed to study steel girders as the next step in LTBP research and consider also proceeding to study treated decks where feasible (all overlays except for asphalt). Furthermore, we recommend that research addressing asphalt overlays on bridge decks be reinstated as soon as the necessary protocols are developed. LR07/7 We share with the LTBP Team the conviction that outreach to the highway bridge community is important in increasing awareness of the benefits to be derived by the states through participation in LTBPâs data gathering and use of the data. Outreach can emphasize that LTBP stands ready to help each state develop a risk-based asset management plan to improve or preserve the condition and performance of its highway bridges, as mandated by the MAP-217 legislation. The value of collecting legacy data and developing new investigative tools can be explained to the bridge community and the general public through this outreach. We recommend that audience-specific webinars highlighting the benefits to be derived from the program be developed as part of LTBPâs outreach to AASHTOâs8 SCOH,9 to the state agencies directly, and to the public. LR07/8 Speculation on the extent to which LTBPâs funding will be reduced under the FAST Act10 appeared to pervade this meetingâs presentations and discussions. We share the LTBP Teamâs concern for the viability of the program under reduced funding levels, and believe that preparation for this eventuality is the key to securing adequate funding for LTBP's highest priority elements. LTBPâs activities could be delineated with specificity, prioritized by their expected products, and quantified by the resources they require. On this basis, contingency plans could be developed indicating (a) which activities would be reduced and (b) the resulting diminishment of their costs and products if LTBPâs funding were reduced by various percentages. The details of such plans are necessary in preparing to cope with painful 7 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. 8 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 9 Standing Committee on Highways. 10 Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation Act.
ATTACHMENT 1 TRB Long-Term Bridge Performance Committee Membership Roster (Attendees of the meeting on May 10â11, 2016, are listed in bold italicized type) Bruce V. Johnson, Chair State Bridge Engineer Oregon Department of Transportation R. Scott Christie Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Matthew M. Farrar State Bridge Engineer Idaho Transportation Department Karl H. Frank Chief Engineer Hirschfeld Industries, Austin, Texas Gregg C. Fredrick Assistant Chief Engineer Wyoming Department of Transportation Malcolm T. Kerley President NXL Construction Services, Inc., Richmond, Virginia John M. Kulicki Chairman Emeritus Modjeski and Masters, Inc., Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania Richard D. Land Quality Practice Leader, Complex Bridges AECOM, Sacramento, California Sandra Q. Larson Director, Systems Operations Bureau Iowa Department of Transportation Paul V. Liles, Jr. Roswell, Georgia Samer Madanat Xenel Professor of Engineering University of California, Berkeley Ananth K. Prasad Senior Vice President and National Transportation Practice Leader HNTB Corporation, Tallahassee, Florida Kenneth D. Price Vice PresidentâNational Bridge Practice HNTB Corporation, Chicago, Illinois LIAISONS Patricia Bush Program Manager for Bridges and Structures American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C. Waseem Dekelbab Senior Program Officer, TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Washington, D.C. Danielle Kleinhans Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Schaumburg, Illinois William F. McEleney Director National Steel Bridge Alliance, Cranston, Rhode Island Ted M. Scott III Director of Engineering American Trucking Associations, Alexandria, Virginia
ATTACHMENT 2 Agenda TRB Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Advisory Committee (BCOM) May 10â11, 2016 Room 250, NAS Building 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20418 This committee provides ongoing advice to FHWAâs Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program. Tuesday, May 10 BCOM Chair: Bruce Johnson, presiding 8:00â8:15 a.m. Welcome, Attendeesâ Self-Introductions, Review of Staff Notes, Adoption of Agenda Bruce Johnson (Oregon Department of Transportation), Rob Raab (TRB), Hamid Ghasemi (FHWA) 8:15â8:30 a.m. BCOMâs Role, Scope, and Operations Rob Raab Bruce Johnson 8:30â8:45 a.m. BSPEC 11 Chairmanâs Report Jugesh Kapur (Burns and McDonnell) 8:45â9:15 a.m. LTBP Program Update Rob Zobel (FHWA) 9:15â9:30 a.m. LTBP Protocols Report Yamayra Rodriguez (FHWA) 9:30â 10:10 a.m. LTBP Data Collection Update Sue Lane (FHWA) 10:10â 10:15 a.m. Break 10:15â 11:00 a.m. LTBP Business Plan Update Rob Zobel 11:00â 11:15 a.m. State Coordinatorsâ Summaries and Bridge Timelines Sue Lane 11:15 a.m.ânoon BCOM Discussion and Guidanceâ Refocus of Efforts, Data Collection, Business Plan, State Coordinatorsâ Summaries, and Timelines All (discussion) Noonâ1:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00-1:15 p.m. Bridge Portal Update Rob Zobel 1:15â1:45 p.m. Update on LTBP Data-Driven Deterioration Modeling Methodology (DMM) and Cost Analysis Modeling Methodology (CAMM) Haotian Liu (Rutgers), Yun Bao (Rutgers), Hooman Parvardeh (Rutgers) 1:45â2:15 p.m. Bridge Dynamic CharacterizationâLTBP Needs Hamid Ghasemi, Frank Moon (Rutgers) 2:15â2:45 p.m. BCOM Discussion and Guidanceâ Bridge Portal, Dynamic Characterization, DMM, and CAMM All (discussion) 11 Expert Task Group for LTBP Special Activities.
2:45â3:15 p.m. 2016 NDE/SHM Workshop, NDE Overlay Study, and 2017 TRB Workshop Integrating NDE and SHM Hoda Azari (FHWA) 3:15â3:30 p.m. Break 3:30â4:15 p.m. Pooled Fund WIM Study Tom Saad (FHWA), Jeff Purdy (Pennoni) 4:15â4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks Hamid Ghasemi 4:30â5:00 p.m. Closed SessionâCommittee Disclosure and Review of Biases and Conflicts Rob Raab 5:00 p.m. Adjourn for the Day Wednesday, May 11 BCOM Chair: Bruce Johnson, presiding 8:00â8:15 a.m. Chairman Recap Bruce Johnson 8:15â8:45 a.m. TRB Bridge DAWG Bruce Johnson, Rob Raab 8:45â 11:00 a.m. BCOM Discussion and Guidanceâ Pooled Fund WIM Study, Protocol Development, NDE Overlay Study, NDE/SHM Workshop, Bridge DAWG, Other ItemsâBSPEC Feedback All (discussion) 11:00 a.m.ânoon Closed SessionâCommittee Consensus on Findings and Recommendations Bruce Johnson, Rob Raab Noonâ1:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00â2:00 p.m. Closing Remarks Bruce Johnson, Hamid Ghasemi 2:00 p.m. Adjourn