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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-21-063    Date:  Summer 2021
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-21-063
Date: Summer 2021


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In This Issue:


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program and the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Program are pleased to announce the 2020—2021 Student Data Analysis Contest. The contest is designed to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to use bridge or pavement data to research topics in these areas and explore a career in bridge or pavement engineering.

Students are required to use the LTBP InfoBridgeTM and LTPP InfoPaveTM Web portals to study the various factors affecting bridge and pavement lifecycles and to develop a technical paper to document their research. Sample topics and other contest details are available at the Student Data Analysis Contest website. The papers are due by July 30, 2021. Those who cannot meet the deadline are encouraged to submit their work for next year's contest.


The most recent version of InfoBridge, released in January 2021, included several usability enhancements and data analysis tools. For a complete list of new InfoBridge features and enhancements, visit InfoBridge Update Notes. Highlights from this list include:


Fast Track Ultrasonic Imaging of Concrete Bridge Decks Using Roller Type Array Transducers

The photo shows the roller vehicle fitted with Wireless Data Transformer, Ultrasonic Data Acquisition and Signal Processing Hardware and Phased Array Probes used for Fast Track Ultrasonic Imaging of Concrete. Source: FHWA

Fast Track Ultrasonic Imaging of Concrete Bridges

The LTBP Program needs innovative, low-cost methods for concrete bridge deck assessment to enhance the efficiency and repeatability of the LTBP program's field data collection. Concrete bridge deck assessment technologies that allow traffic lanes to remain open would greatly reduce the cost associated with data collection. Phase I of a recently completed Small Business Innovative Research project—Fast Track Ultrasonic Imaging of Concrete Bridge Decks Using Roller Type Array Transducers—showed that a rolling system with tire material and coupling can be achieved using P-wave sensors. Such a system coupled with specialty algorithms produces higher-resolution images to capture internal bridge deck defects. A recently awarded phase II project will develop a prototype of the proposed specialty vehicle with modular electromechanical components housing a fast-track ultrasonic imaging system with a roller-type array.


LTBP staff provide on-demand online webinars to introduce InfoBridge to those interested. Users include bridge owners, researchers, consultants, and students. Several webinars have been presented to DOTs, researchers, and university students and professors. If you are interested in arranging a webinar for your colleagues, please contact Shri.Bhide@dot.gov.


LTBP program staff conducted a virtual Data Collection Workshop during February and March 2021. The objective of the workshop was to receive input from the bridge community's subject matter experts (SMEs) to assist FHWA in assessing the LTBP Program's future data collection efforts. More than 60 SMEs, including members of the Transportation Research Board Long- Term Infrastructure Performance Expert Task Group on Bridges (ETG), State departments of transportation (DOTs), academia, industry, and FHWA participated in the workshop. The workshop consisted of five work groups, and each focused on previously identified, high-priority bridge performance issues.

The work groups included warm-weather reinforced concrete bridge decks, cold-weather reinforced concrete bridge decks, bridge deck joints and superstructure bearings, corrosion protection for structural steel, and pretensioned and post-tensioned strands.

ETG members served as chairs and co-chairs of the work groups, and FHWA staff served as facilitators and coordinators. The excellent ideas and suggestions generated during the workshop are being considered in developing the future data collection efforts and other work programs of LTBP.

A TechBrief will be published this summer summarizing the planning, conduct, and outcomes from the workshop. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the workshop, please contact Robert.Zobel@dot.gov.



Historical Changes to Steel Bridge Design, Composition, and Properties, FHWA, FHWA-HRT-21-020. January 2021. [PDF]

Repair and Maintenance of Post-Tensioned Concrete Bridges, National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Synthesis 562. 2021. [PDF]

DistributionFHWA LTBP News is being distributed according to a standard distribution. Direct distribution is being made to the FHWA Divisions and Resource Center.

Key Words—Bridges, Research, LTBP, ETG , InfoBridge, InfoBridge Updates, Small Business Innovative Research Project, Student Data Analysis Contest, Network Performance Forecast, Data Collection Workshop.

Notice—This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement—The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

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