American Society of Civil Engineers

Modeling the Reduction in Load Capacity of Highway Bridges with Age

by Steven B. Chase, M.ASCE, (Sr. Hydr. Engr., Fed. Hwy. Admin., 10 S. Howard St., Baltimore, MD 21201-2532) and Lásló Gáspár, (Dept. Head, Inst. for Transport Sci., Ltd., 11–13 Temesvár u., H-1116, Budapest, Hungary)

Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 4, November 2000, pp. 331-336, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Bridge management systems focus on optimizing the life-cycle cost of preservation and improvement activities in a network of structures. Pontis, the predominant bridge management system currently implemented in the United States, considers load-carrying capacity as static during an incremental benefit-cost approach. Including consideration of load-carrying capacity, deterioration may enhance this model. To accomplish this goal, a method to relate load-carrying capacity to physical bridge deterioration using a combination of regression analysis and Markov chains is presented. The method is applied to historic bridge data from the United States and Hungary.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Age factors
Bridge maintenance
Load bearing capacity
Markov process
Regression analysis