American Society of Civil Engineers


Best Practices of Bridge System Management—A Synthesis


by R. Edward Minchin, Jr., M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Coastal Engrg., Univ. of FLorida, P.O. Box 116580, Gainesville, FL 32611. E-mail: minch@ufl.edu), Tarek Zayed, M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Bldg., Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Concordia Univ., BE-357, 1257 Guy St., Montreal PQ, Canada H3G 1M7. E-mail: tzayed@alcor.concordia.ca), Andrew J. Boyd, M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Coastal Engrg., Univ. of Florida, P.O. Box 116580, Gainesville, FL 32611. E-mail: aboyd@ce.ufl.edu), and Michael Mendoza, (Res. Asst., Dept. of Civ. and Coastal Engrg., Univ. of Florida, P.O. Box 116580, Gainesville, FL 32611. E-mail: mikemendoza77@yahoo.com)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 22, No. 4, October 2006, pp. 186-195, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0742-597X(2006)22:4(186))

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The paper’s primary purpose is to evaluate current practices in bridge management and inspection procedures in the United States and how State Highway Agencies (SHAs) follow U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines. The efficiency of SHA in utilizing the bridge management systems (BMSs) available to them is analyzed, and the agencies’ readiness to respond to events such as hurricanes, flooding, or earthquakes is evaluated. The paper addresses issues regarding bridges with unknown foundations, interviewing four structural engineers from three SHA regarding these topics. Bridge management officials across the country will benefit from this research by evaluating their agencies’ current practices in comparison with other state agencies. Findings show that state officials attempt to follow very closely the guidelines set by the federal government for bridge inspection and maintenance. However, it was also discovered that, during catastrophic events, agencies rely heavily on managing engineers’ experience and decision-making capabilities because there is no set of response procedures for these extreme conditions. Although powerful BMS tools are available, few SHA utilize these tools to their full capabilities.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Bridge maintenance
Systems management
Bridge foundations
Earthquakes
Hurricanes