Bridge Engineering and Life Cycle Cost

by Neal H. Bettigole, Exodermic Bridge Deck Inst, Westwood, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) requires that all Federal Aid projects must 'consider...the use of life-cycle costs in the design and engineering of bridges, tunnels, or pavement.' Critics of life cycle cost claim that there is insufficient data to support proper decision making. The flaw in their reasoning is that exact data and analysis is neither called for by ISTEA, nor necessary in making choices between design alternatives. The application of probability-based methodologies to specific bridges, materials, systems, and components offers the most likely path to formalizing life cycle cost analysis.

Subject Headings: Bridge engineering | Construction costs | Pavement design | Systems engineering | Bridge tests | Bridge components | Bridge design | Structural systems

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