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Implementation of a Bridge Management System In The Province of Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works (NSTPW) is responsible for the safety and management of approximately 4000 bridges on the provincial highway system in Nova Scotia. A large percentage of the bridges have either reached the end of their useful life or have passed their midlife and will require major repairs in the near future. In order to help balance limited resources and funding with the increasing needs for the bridges, Nova Scotia decided in 1999 that a Bridge management system should be implemented. The Department recognized that a BMS would provide many benefits including the enhancement of safety and bridge service life, accurate and meaningful data for the performance conditions and costs of a bridge, and the better management of the bridge inventory. Through the Department led Transportation Management Information System (TMIS) initiative, staff defined their preferred vision of managing bridges. This was the foundation on which a bridge management strategy was developed and the basis for selection of a bridge management system software solution. As the Department implements it bridge management strategy it will move towards a goal of having a systematic transportation infrastructure. A detailed study of current bridge management systems was made to determine which system would best suit Department requirements. The Department found that the Ontario Bridge Management System (OBMS) offered features not available in other bridge management systems and that it was particularly suited for Canadian codes and practice. In fall 2003, Nova Scotia TPW retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. to implement a customized version of the Ontario Bridge Management System. Stantec developed an implementation plan which accommodated the business practice and needs of NSTPW, providing a customized version of the OBMS in less than 6 months. A method was developed to successfully migrate the existing Nova Scotia inventory data to the BMS. The result is a state-of-the-art BMS which fits the business practices of the Department and contains all relevant inventory data for all bridges in the network. This paper will share some of the challenges in selecting and implementing a Bridge Management System and will provide an update to the status of the implementation. The paper should be of interest to any provincial or municipal agency considering implementation of a Bridge Management System.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Speiran, K
Francis. J
Ellis, RM
Thompson, P.D