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Saskatchewan Bridge Management from a Spatial Perspective


The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) in conjunction with Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation (SHT) retained Associated Engineering (AE) in September of 2006 to complete a strategic asset management plan for the management of over 3900 rural municipal bridges and bridge sized culverts valued at over 700 million dollars. The key objective of the strategic plan was to establish a methodology to manage the prioritization of repair and rehabilitation plans in view of the sustainability and existing and proposed network service levels. The terms of reference for this project required that an objective priority rating system be derived for structures on a system wide basis. AE chose to employ a value, priority, risk and value approach to determine the relative importance of the structure from a service level aspect in addition to the evaluation of structural integrity and inspection levels. This approach allowed for the structures to be evaluated outside of their respective structural adequacy envelopes and allowed for a determination of the value of each structure in terms of serviceability or adequacy in relation to service level. AE employed an advanced spatial or Geographical Information System,(GIS), based rating engine to examine structure stressors including but not limited to : structural adequacy, inspection frequency, traffic loading, financial value, road class, primary / grain haul uses and functional redundancy in view of existing and proposed service levels. The results of the study were communicated to the stakeholders SARM, SHT and individual rural municipalities, (RM), through a conventional paper report and via a custom WEB GIS and relational database application which was updated throughout all phases of the project as results became available. The digital based deliverable allowed stakeholders to maintain both the project structure inventory and decision making regime beyond the life of the project. This paper / presentation demonstrates an innovative approach to sustainable bridge asset management and the use of an alternative project delivery mechanism to provide a sustainable data record and decision making regime. The results of this project assisted in the securing of a substantial increase in funding for both bridge inspection and renewal.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
David Watt
Lowell Snodgras
Ken Engel
John Fussell
Jason Horner
James Burn