Probability of Detection Study for Visual Inspection of Steel Bridges: Volume 1—Executive Summary

An inspector’s ability to correctly identify surface and internal defects in steel bridge components is critical to protecting public safety. Ensuring that inspectors are properly trained and adequately equipped to detect these defects in locations that are difficult to access and/or in unfavorable environmental conditions must be a high priority. While the Federal Highway Administration and individual state departments of transportation have guidelines for inspector qualifications, trainings, and certifications, there is very little emphasis placed on evaluating or “testing” a given inspector’s capability to characterize detect defects in the field. As a result, there is also very little if any data on how well a given inspector actually performs or the variability which can be expected between various inspectors. This comprehensive Probability of Detection (POD) study was conducted to establish the ability of an inspector with the current required training to locate cracks in steel bridge components using typical visual inspection techniques.

  • Record URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University

    Joint Transportation Research Program
    West Lafayette, IN  United States  47907-2051

    Indiana Department of Transportation

    100 N Senate Avenue
    Indianapolis, IN  United States  46204

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Campbell, Leslie E
    • Snyder, Luke R
    • Whitehead, Julie M
    • Connor, Robert J
    • Lloyd, Jason B
  • Publication Date: 2019-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01740074
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/IN/JTRP-2019/21
  • Contract Numbers: SPR-3820
  • Created Date: May 18 2020 8:44AM