Bridge Retrofit or Replacement Decisions: Tools to Assess Sustainability and Aid Decision-Making

Many bridges in this country have reached their intended service-life, and are deemed in need of maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement services. A life cycle inventory collects relevant information about sustainability impacts that can be used to assess the effect of decision on the economy, environment, and society. Bridge management sustainability assessment can be thought of as impacting owners (A), road users (B), and the environment (C). The development of life cycle inventories that cost sustainability impacts are increasingly relevant to bridge management systems (BMS). This research proposes an A+B+C costing method to assess sustainability impacts that are otherwise externalized. Employing the A+B+C costing method, the impacts incurred to the owner, user, and environment and are summed to provide a total cost to score the overall efficiency and sustainability of each option. Transportation agencies spend millions of dollars to maintain rehabilitate, and replace bridge expansion joints each year. A case study measured the sustainability impacts of different deck expansion joint rehabilitation/replacement options for a bridge’s remaining service life using the A+B+C costing method. The most cost effective joint maintenance program for the remaining life of the bridge was found to be approximately $ 188,000. The most expensive joint maintenance program cost approximately 52 % more. For each program option considered – the owner costs ranged between 10-15 %, the societal costs ranged between 80-90 %, while the environmental costs ranged between 2.6 and 2.7 % – of the total.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Delaware, Newark

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, DuPont Hall
    Newark, DE  United States  19716

    Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation

    Rutgers University
    100 Brett Road
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854-8058

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Tabrizi, Arsha
    • Clarke-Sather, Abigail
    • Schumacher, Thomas
  • Publication Date: 2016-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01666081
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CAIT-UTC-NC5
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC28
  • Created Date: Apr 16 2018 11:20AM