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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA-HIF-20-004    Date:  December 2019
Publication Number: FHWA-HIF-20-004
Date: December 2019


Post-Hazard Engineering Assessment of Highway Structures using Remote Sensing Technologies

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This report describes applications of remote sensing technologies for post-hazard damage inspection of highway structures. A literature review is presented of various remote sensing platforms used in post-hazard bridge applications including space-borne, airborne, ground-based and water-based systems. On real world applications, the report presents demonstration of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and unmanned water systems (UWS) at two bridge sites in Maryland and a mock-up laboratory study of bridge movement using photogrammetry technique.

This report will benefit those interested in the design, fabrication, and construction of steel bridges and PC concrete decks, including State transportation departments, bridge design consultants, and PC concrete facilities.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


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.

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Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Post-Hazard Engineering Assessment of Highway Structures using Remote Sensing Technologies

5. Report Date

December 2019

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

Jalinoos, F., Agrawal, A.K., Brooks C., Amjadian, M., Banach, D., Boren, E.J., Dobson, R., and Ahlborn, T.

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

The City College of New York
160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-14-D-00010 0209

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered:

Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

Frank Jalinoos was the Contracting Officer's Representative (COR).

16. Abstract

There are approximately 615,000 bridges in the United States. Many of these bridges serve as critical parts of the transportation network locally, regionally and nationwide, and are essential for transportation of goods and people before, during and after extreme natural hazards. This report presents a detailed study on engineering post-hazard assessment of bridges with focus on geo- and hydraulic hazards. The objective of post-hazard assessment is to collect engineering data related to the behavior and damage to bridges. The report presents a detailed investigation on post-hazard engineering assessment through: (i) literature review of the current state of the art on post-hazard assessment for geo- and hydraulic hazards including data needs and gaps; (ii) field evaluation using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for 3D photogrammetry of two bridge structures in Maryland as well as field evaluation using unmanned water systems (UWS) for developing bathymetric profiles; and, (iii) investigation on resolution of bridge movement detection using UAS through testing of a scaled bridge model. It has been demonstrated that UAS and UWS are invaluable and powerful technology for collecting engineering data after an extreme natural hazard event. However, numerous knowledge gaps exist in full implementation of an engineering data collection program.

17. Key Words

Bridge damage assessment, geo- and hydraulic hazard, remote sensing technology, unmanned aerial system (UAS), unmanned water system (UWS).

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized
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