Bridge Maintenance Program for the City of Columbia, Missouri

Project status


Start date: 12/22/15
End date: 09/30/17


Principal investigator:

Co-principal investigator:

About the research

In this project, a bridge maintenance and preservation program was developed for the City of Columbia, Missouri. The program focuses on practical and implementable technologies and procedures that can be applied to extend the service lives of the bridges, reduce maintenance costs, and ensure safety and serviceability. Specific technologies that were considered included bridge deck flushing, fog and seal programs, and crack sealers.

The researchers analyzed the state of the practice for bridge preservation through a literature search, consultations with contacts within the preservation community, and interviews with state-level bridge owners who use these technologies. Existing and historical activities undertaken by the city were also evaluated, and current needs were assessed. An informal risk analysis was used to prioritize activities and link the identified procedures with specific structures within the city. A field survey of bridges in Columbia was completed to help identify bridge preservation needs for particular bridges. These data were summarized and used to develop an implementable procedure for short-term (12 to 24 months after program implementation), mid-term (25 to 72 months after program implementation), and long-term (73 to 120 months after program implementation) actions to extend the life of bridges and reduce maintenance costs.

Key recommendations for the program include the identification and prioritization of low-cost preventive maintenance (PM) activities such as cleaning, periodic washing of bridges, and sealing of bridge decks that are currently in good condition. The identification of condition-based preservation needs through the implementation of a bridge preservation inspection program (BPIP) and the review of maintenance notes in the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) biennial inspection reports were recommended.


Report: Bridge Maintenance Program for the City of Columbia, Missouri (4.33 mb pdf) September 2017

Tech transfer summary: Bridge Maintenance Program for the City of Columbia, Missouri (829.15 kb pdf) Sep 2017



  • City of Columbia, Missouri
  • Midwest Transportation Center