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The Economic Impact of Implementing Nondestructive Testing of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks in Indiana

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  • Taylor, Benjamin R. (Author)
  • Qiao, Yu (Author)
  • Bowman, Mark D. (Author)
Transportation : General
Purdue University Press
Joint Transportation Research Program
Publish Date:
The deck is among the most expensive more ...

The deck is among the most expensive components of a bridge over its lifetime because of the frequent and costly maintenance and rehabilitation required. Currently, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) performs visual inspections of a bridge deck as the principal means of determining its condition, which enables the inspector to definitively document the surface condition while the unseen condition below the deck surface is left to the inspector’s expert judgement. To compensate for this lack of data, INDOT supplements visual inspections with programmatic scheduling for major work actions, which is very effective for INDOT but costly. In this continuing era of funding shortfalls, INDOT commissioned this study to investigate nondestructive testing (NDT) methods to fill their data gap to inform its work action decision. The NDT methods have been shown to accurately locate corrosion and delamination and are a cost-effective alternative. A project level comparison between the NDT methods was performed to show which method, as well as which combination of methods, were the best choices from a cost perspective. A project level analysis of 30 bridge decks was performed, and those costs were compared to the costs of the current INDOT programmatic schedules. Finally, the analysis was expanded to the network level, which included the entire bridge inventory in Indiana. The results of this study indicate that implementing the NDT methods is cost-effective for INDOT at both the project and network levels.

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