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Project Details

Title:Transferring Research Innovations in Bridge Inspection Planning to Bridge Inspection Practice
Principal Investigators:Rebecca Atadero and Mehmet Ozbek
University:Colorado State University
Grant #:69A3551747108 (FAST Act)
Project #:MPC-594
RH Display ID:154107
Keywords:bridge management systems, inspection, nondestructive tests, organizational factors, state departments of transportation, state of the practice, surveys, technological innovations


Recent bridge failures have resulted in calls for change in the way bridges are inspected and managed. Furthermore, nondestructive evaluation methods are more commonly used and deterioration models are becoming more sophisticated. Researchers have responded to the need for change and advances in technology and understanding with proposals for new ways to plan inspections that move away from the federally mandated two-year cycle for visual inspection of most bridges. However, current inspection techniques are well established and integrated into bridge management processes at departments of transportation. This project studies how large-scale changes are made to engineering practice at DOTs within the specific context of bridge inspection. The project pursues a two-pronged approach to study the incentives and barriers to organization change. The first prong works closely with a DOT to collect data sets describing current bridge management practices. This data set will then be used to assess the practical needs associated with moving to a new inspection system and the costs associated with the change. The second prong includes interviews and surveys of bridge inspection and management professionals at a variety of levels (federal, state, local) to learn what obstacles they perceive in switching to a different bridge inspection paradigm. These interviews will be used to study the human factors associated with a change. The result of this project will be an approach for how an agency could work to change their inspection practices to better incorporate new technology and more effectively utilize inspection funds.

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