InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Development and Integration of Advanced Timber Bridge Inspection Techniques for NBIS

Minnesota‰Ûªs Nobles County experienced a timber bridge failure in 2010, raising concerns among city, county and state engineers about the current practice of timber bridge inspections. Inspections for timber bridges have been mostly limited to visual inspection, hammer sounding and probing. These techniques have proven appropriate for advanced decay detection, but are inadequate for early stage or internal deterioration. It is critical that efforts be conducted to develop and implement advanced timber inspection techniques into routine bridge inspections in accordance with National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) requirements. This project will result in improved assessment information that can be used to improve the safety and reliability of Minnesota‰Ûªs bridges. An experienced research team will identify and help implement an inspection protocol for Minnesota‰Ûªs timber bridges (with an emphasis on timber substructure) that can accurately assess structural condition and support the load rating process. Key milestones include the development of standard inspection protocols, integration of the results into bridge data management software, development of a customized inspection manual, outreach training for MnDOT districts, recommendation of equipment purchases, and completion of an economic assessment on the use of advanced inspection techniques.