American Society of Civil Engineers

Pavement Rehabilitation Strategy Selection for Steel Suspension Bridges Based on Probabilistic Life-Cycle Cost Analysis

by Tong Guo, (corresponding author), (Associate Professor, Key Laboratory of Concrete and Prestressed Concrete Structure, Ministry of Education, Southeast Univ., Nanjing, P.R. China, 210096. E-mail:, Tie Liu, (Graduate student, College of Civil Engineering, Southeast Univ., Nanjing, P.R. China, 210096. E-mail:, and Ai-qun Li, (Professor, College of Civil Engineering, Southeast Univ., Nanjing, P.R. China, 210096. E-mail:

Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 26, No. 1, January/February 2012, pp. 76-83, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Field inspections on long-span steel suspension bridges in China reveal that the pavements undergo a fast deterioration process attributed to the flexibility of suspension bridges and the heavy traffic loads. Such extensive damage and enormous repair costs call for a cost-effective rehabilitation strategy for these bridges. In this paper, the pavement rehabilitation strategy is investigated for the Runyang Suspension Bridge in China with the aid of the life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA). Three alternatives are compared for their economic efficiency, and both agency costs and user costs are taken into account. To consider the uncertainties that abound in the LCCA, probabilistic analyses are made in which the Latin hypercube method is used to provide samples of random variables. According to the LCCA results, the user costs are a considerable proportion of the total costs so that the selection of rehabilitation strategies is significantly influenced by the user costs. In this regard, the second alternative, the double-layer pavement (guss asphalt plus stone matrix asphalt) is the most cost-effective rehabilitation strategy for the bridge. Additionally, sensitivity analyses show that the traffic growth rates, the discount rate, the work zone duration, and the delay cost rate for passenger cars are the most sensitive variables in the user costs. The methodologies and approaches introduced herein can be easily implemented by practitioners and would be of benefit to pavement rehabilitations for steel suspension bridges.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Life cycles
Steel bridges
Highway bridges
Suspension bridges

Author Keywords:
Rehabilitation strategy
Life-cycle cost analysis
Steel suspension bridge