Bridge Repairs—Unexpected Effects on Reliability

by William G. Byers, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Probabilistic Methods in Civil Engineering


There is a significant probability that a bridge will require repairs at some time during its service life. Repairs correcting one deficiency can cause other, unanticipated problems. Awareness of some of these problems can result in improved repair design and more effective inspection of repaired bridges. Problems associated with repairs may be caused by unlikely combinations of circumstances, use of inadequately tested procedures, unforeseen secondary effects and insufficient understanding of original construction details or structural behavior. Problems may result from stresses caused by moment reversal, residual stresses, secondary stresses or changed load paths. Other problems include interference with inspection and increased risk of damage from fire, high water or other accidental cause.

Subject Headings: Rehabilitation | Bridge management | Maintenance and operation | Residual stress | Inspection | Bridge design | Load factors | Risk management

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