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Material Structural Deficiencies of Road Bridges in the U.S.

Cincinnati, OH 45231, USA
Infrastructures 2018, 3(1), 2;
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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This study analyzes the National Bridge Inventory in the U.S. to determine the relative structural deficiencies of bridge materials, comparing between the overall national values and each state, geographically. The analysis considers the most common bridge construction materials—concrete, steel, and prestressed/post-tensioned concrete. The results suggest need to reassess the efficacy of best performance practices for steel bridges and for states with structural deficiencies above the national average. Geographic consistency of structurally deficient bridge density with population density shows need to improve intervention strategies for regions with higher levels of service usage. The study also compares the relative operational lifespan of bridge materials in each state. The average structurally deficient bridge ages are lower than the 75-year life-cycle expectancy. Prestressed/post-tensioned concrete bridges reveal relatively lower lifespan. Over time, concrete and steel bridges show some gradual improvement with decreasing percentage of structural deficiency and increasing lifespan. Prestressed/post-tensioned concrete bridges reveal shifting earlier accumulation of structural deficiency for a particular age group. The study also reveals relative climate effects. Climate conditions correlate differently with the structural deficiency and life cycle of bridge materials in each state. Structurally deficient bridge densities show correlation with climate maps, especially under colder and moist conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: bridges; bridge design; deterioration; life cycles; materials; construction materials; evaluation; structural behavior bridges; bridge design; deterioration; life cycles; materials; construction materials; evaluation; structural behavior

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Farhey, D.N. Material Structural Deficiencies of Road Bridges in the U.S.. Infrastructures 2018, 3, 2.

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