Managing Highway Bridges against Climate-Triggered Extreme Loading in Cold Regions

Managing highway bridge structures in extremely cold regions presents unique problems that are normally not encountered in other climates. Consequently, bridge management systems (BMS) in cold regions have to consider additional criteria in evaluating alternative investment strategies and projects’ selection. In this paper, a method is presented for the vulnerability rating of highway bridges on the structural capacity impacts of climate-triggered extreme loading. Further, the structural capacity rating, along with another recently introduced criterion of vulnerability rating against non-structural-capacity climate-triggered extreme events, together with the two traditional criteria of bridge performance and utility, are combined using a multicriteria, noniterative optimization technique, which is also introduced here for the first time. In addition to the aforementioned new concepts, a major contribution of this paper is the choice of criteria with a view to avoiding prejudgement of the relative importance of one criterion with respect to another as well as the formulation of the criteria weights to render redundant the concept of tradeoffs. As a result, criteria weights are not fixed but vary across the alternative projects. The final output of the new optimization technique is an optimization ranking index (Opt-I), which shows excellent correlation with each project’s probability of being selected for implementation. The new methods are demonstrated using a base of 30 bridge projects from the Canadian Arctic (60° latitude and higher), comprising 10 actual inventory bridges and 20 parametrically derived bridges.


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  • Accession Number: 01605385
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2016 3:03PM