Introduction of non-destructive highway inspection methods using high definition video and infrared technology

In these days of severe budget restrictions for many highway agencies worldwide, it has become increasingly difficult for highway department managers and engineers to respond to the ever increasing maintenance and rehabilitation demands of their deteriorating highway structures. In order to make timely and appropriate maintenance and rehabilitation decisions, constant monitoring of structural conditions is necessary. While most agencies recognize the importance of timely bridge inspections such programs tend to be time consuming and expensive. In Japan, bridge owners face this dilemma of recognizing the critical importance of timely structure inspections while concurrently facing budget pressures brought on in part by the high labor costs and time requirements of their traditional visually oriented bridge inspection programs. To address this problem, Japanese engineers have worked to develop more efficient, economical and safer bridge inspection methods and procedures Under these circumstances, one of Japan‟s major toll road operators (NEXCO-West) has been able to reduce highway structure inspection costs by developing and introducing an innovative highway inspection technical approach that uses a combination of high definition video (HDV) and infrared (IR) thermographic technology. High definition video records the surface condition of concrete structures. Recorded data is analyzed by image processing to determine crack widths and length on concrete surfaces. Infrared imaging supports a thermographic assessment of structural integrity. In general, thermographic assessments involve analyzing structural integrity through an analysis of variations in a structural element's temperature at different times of the day; recognizing that damaged or deteriorating structural elements demonstrate different temperature variation gradients than do sound structural elements. Combining HDV and IR data enables an accurate assessment of a bridge‟s structural integrity. This paper describes these inspection methods using HDV and infrared technologies and introduces some examples of practical on-site application to highway bridge superstructures. The technology can provide a powerful tool for engineers responsible for developing highway maintenance strategies and contribute to efficient and smart infrastructure management.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 10p
  • Monograph Title: 24th World Road Congress Proceedings: Roads for a Better Life: Mobility, Sustainability and Development

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01520721
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 2840602679
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 29 2014 5:03PM