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Reliability-Based Decision Support Tool for Life Cycle Design and Management of Highway Bridge Decks


A considerable percentage of highway bridges in North America is in a structurally/functionally deficient state due to aging, aggressive environment and increased traffic load and volume. The consequences of this deficiency are numerous, including reduced safety, serviceability and service life, which lead to increased risk of injuries and fatalities; and increased maintenance costs and user costs. Reliable predictions of life cycle performance are critical to the optimization of their design and maintenance that will lead to reduced risks of failure and life cycle costs. This paper provides an overview of the reliability-based life cycle performance and life cycle cost analysis models developed at NRC-IRC. These models can be used to predict the service life and cost of highway bridge decks built in corrosive environments. The service life prediction models predict the time dependent probability of damage initiation and accumulation in bridge decks, from chloride ingress to spalling and/or delamination of the concrete cover. The life cycle cost analysis model provides predictions of the total costs incurred over the life cycles of bridge decks, which include the costs of design, construction, maintenance and repair activities, as well as user costs. These models have been integrated into a decision support software tool called “SLAB-D”. A case study outlines the main capabilities of the models and decision support tool for the life cycle-based design and management of bridge decks. This tool can be used to help bridge designers and managers quantify and visualize how changes to the bridge deck design and maintenance will affect its service life and life cycle cost.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Zoubir Lounis
Lyne Daigle