Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersReliability-based life cycle design of resilient highway bridges

Reliability-based life cycle design of resilient highway bridges


Highway bridges are critical links in Canada’s transportation network, which enable personal
mobility and transport of goods that support trade and economic development of
neighbouring communities. Highway bridges should be designed and maintained to last at
least 75 years with minimum maintenance. The average service life of bridge structures
vary from 30 years to 100 years, which are continually extended by using different
maintenance and rehabilitation strategies. Different technologies are used for bridge life
extensions, including different combinations of protective systems, repair, strengthening,
rehabilitation, and replacement actions of decks, superstructures, substructures and entire
bridges. The growing concerns with aging bridges, increased load and reduced strength,
environmental protection and vulnerability to extreme events require the development of
resilient transportation infrastructure that minimizes traffic disruption and ensures social,
economic and environmental sustainability and resilience over the entire life cycle of the
bridge. Given the considerable uncertainty that is associated with the key parameters and
physical models that affect the life cycle performance of highway bridges, there is a need to
develop robust mechanistic and stochastic models to predict the service life of bridges. This
paper presents a practical reliability-based approach for the life cycle design of resilient
concrete bridges that enables to achieve long life bridges with an acceptable probability of
failure, which minimizes traffic disruption and reduces the life cycle costs to the bridge
owners and users. An example illustrates the benefits of implementing a life cycle-based
design approach through the construction of high performance concrete highway bridge
structures that yield lower risk of failure when compared to conventional normal concrete
construction, in terms of lower traffic disruption, life cycle costs to the bridge owners and
users; lower CO2 emissions and volume of construction waste materials; and reduced
accident costs.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Lounis, Z.