The seventh and final bridge was selected for the LTBP pilot study, which was designed to validate the methods and protocols developed during the first phase of the program. The pilot study also was designed to investigate various uncertainties about the coordination of the fieldwork to ensure the high quality of the data collection, while minimizing disruptions to traffic flow. The bridge sites are located in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Virginia—and now, Florida.
Following site visits to two candidate pilot bridges in November 2010, the Seabreeze Bridge in Volusia County, FL, became the final bridge selected as part of the pilot study. This bridge is a segmental, post-tensioned concrete structure carrying Seabreeze Boulevard (Route 430 westbound) over the Halifax River. Unlike the other six pilot bridges, this selection provides a pilot bridge located in a marine environment. The LTBP Program completed baseline testing, visual inspection, nondestructive evaluation (NDE) surveying, and material sampling of the deck in late February 2011. In spring 2011, the LTBP program will perform load testing on the bridge as well as NDE, and material sampling of the piers. Work on the piers, in particular, will take additional preparation, because for the first time the program will be evaluating the piers with NDE and material sampling methods.
The other bridges in the pilot study represent both a broad geographic distribution, and a cross section of the types of bridges in use across the Nation. The evaluation of the data collected from the bridges will determine if any adjustments in the LTBP program protocols are needed. The pilot phase will be completed by the fall of 2011. The regular long-term data collection phase of the program, including detailed inspection of a large number of bridges, will begin in the summer of 2011.
The LTBP Program began testing the Bridge Portal tool with State departments of transportation (DOTs) at the end of 2010. The LTBP program aims at a better understanding of the principles underlying performance issues of bridge structures, an understanding that ultimately will lead to a better way of managing the bridge infrastructure by minimizing life-cycle costs and improving current asset management strategies. To achieve these goals, large amounts of data are collected, including legacy data, detailed visual inspection reports, environmental information, and monitoring or instrumentation data. The LTBP Program developed an open, scalable, and extensive data management and analysis infrastructure to efficiently manage, organize, and utilize this vast amount of data. This data and analysis infrastructure integrates LTBP data with other data sets such as National Bridge Inventory, Pontis, weather, and traffic, thereby providing a single source of information for researchers, bridge owners, and other stakeholders. Once integrated, the data infrastructure should provide ways for querying and mining this vast amount of information to help better understand deterioration processes and define better life cycle cost models.
Half-day workshops were conducted with staff from the California Department of Transportation in Sacramento, CA, and Oregon DOT in Salem, OR, in January 2011. The workshops included testing of the Bridge Portal and its capabilities and gathering initial user feedback. The LTBP Program conducted additional tests with Iowa DOT and New Jersey DOT and also will enable other key States to provide feedback in coming months.
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Hamid Ghasemi, Ph.D|
LTBP Program Manager
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
|»||Driving Directions/Map Click here for directions and a map to theTurner-Fairbank Highway Research Center facility.|