Perfecting Bridge Inspecting

by Albert Leung, Data Control Engineer; Massachusetts Highway Department, Boston, MA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 3, Pg. 59-61

Document Type: Feature article


The Massachusetts Highway Department has improved the safety of its bridges and increased its productivity by using networked multimedia to gather and store a variety of data about bridges while ensuring easy access to the information. Document management poses a perplexing conundrum to transportation agencies across the country, and the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) is no exception. Faced with storing and providing access to an array of documents, photos, drawings and videos that detail each bridge's life history, MHD turned to a multimedia information system known as the Integrated Bridge Inspection Information System (IBIIS) to eliminate a host of document-management problems that have plagued its bridge engineers for decades. MHD began phasing in IBIIS in 1994, and officials hope that the system will be fully operational this year. Still, even at the halfway point, the networked multimedia package is already helping MHD to catalog and maintain the more than 5,000 bridges that have been input so far.

Subject Headings: Information systems | Highway bridges | Multimedia | Bridge engineering | Bascule bridges | Inspection | Highway and road management

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