State Departments of Transportation are integrating electronic databases and software applications to achieve efficiencies and meet their performance goals. California, Florida, and South Dakota have been making progressive inroads using the Pontis® Bridge Management System, and here they share their approaches as a guide for other States who want to do the same.
All the information necessary to manage the integrity of California's bridge infrastructure is contained in a single database with sharing features achieved using the Pontis® data structure. Pontis® is used not only to generate bridge reports, but is also accessed by district maintenance crews, project planners, Caltrans management, and the California Transportation Commission for their various lists and reports.
Florida has simplified management and found cost-effective solutions by integrating Pontis® with the Citrix® MetaFrame Access Suite and the Project-Level Analysis Tool (PLAT). Citrix® MetaFrame is a Web tool for bridge inspections that efficiently provides users a single point of access from any location, for any number of people, using many devices, over any connection. PLAT is a decision support system tool that makes routine policy, programming, and budgeting decisions regarding preservation and improvement of the State's bridges.
Like all States, South Dakota's goal is to preserve their aging structures. Pontis® is a valuable tool in this regard because it calculates the rate of deterioration for all the various bridge materials such as concrete, prestressed concrete, steel, and timber. The South Dakota Department of Transportation saved approximately 900 annual man-hours in labor by customizing the Pontis® check-out/check-in process and abandoning their previous practice of entering inspection data from paper forms.
An overview of the bridge management practices in these three States is presented here to help State departments of transportation shape their Asset Management programs in a way that leads them to achieve their goals and performance measures efficiently and cost effectively.