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REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-007    Date:  January 2016
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-007
Date: January 2016

 

Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program Protocols, Version 1

Visual Inspection—Steel Elements Protocols (VIS)

FLD-DC-VIS-001, Steel Superstructure Deterioration

FLD-DC-VIS-002, Steel Superstructure—Corrosion

FLD-DC-VIS-003, Steel Superstructure—Section Loss

FLD-DC-VIS-004, Steel Superstructure—Cracking, Deflection, Uplift, Distortion, Buckling, Rotation, and Impact Damage

Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Logo

Steel Superstructure Deterioration
LTBP Protocol #: FLD-DC-VIS-001


1.

Data Collected

 
1.1 None. This is an instructional protocol for visual inspection of a bridge or span with a steel superstructure.  

2.

Onsite Equipment and Personnel Requirements

 
2.1 Equipment: None.  
2.2 Personnel: PRE-PL-LO-005, Personnel Qualifications.  

3.

Methodology

 
3.1 Use the segmentation and numbering system for the superstructure (FLD-OP-SC-002, Structure Segmentation and Element Identification System) so defects can be located and noted by the unique element identifier.  
3.2 Use FLD-OP-SC-003, Determination of Local Origins for Elements, to establish a local origin on each individual element.  
3.3 Evaluating and recording characteristics of the superstructure:  
3.3.1 FLD-DC-VIS-002, Steel Superstructure—Corrosion, for each instance of paint deterioration or peeling, visible corrosion, or pitting.  
3.3.2 FLD-DC-VIS-003, Steel Superstructure—Section Loss, for each instance of loss of section.  
3.3.3 FLD-DC-VIS-004, Steel Superstructure—Cracking, Deflection, Uplift, Distortion, Buckling, Rotation, and Impact Damage, for each instance of cracking, deflections, uplift, distortion, rotations, and buckling, as well as any damages from strikes by vehicles, vessels, or floating debris.  
3.4 Evaluating bearings:  
3.4.1 FLD-DC-VIB-001, Elastomeric Bearings.  
3.4.2 FLD-DC-VIB-002, Rocker Bearings.  
3.5 Documenting defects:  
3.5.1 Take photographs of defects using FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes, and create a photo log.  
3.5.2 Use sketches as needed to document typical defects and supplement the photographs.  
3.6 Storing data, documents, and images:  
3.6.1 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local, for local storage.  
3.6.2 FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote, for remote storage.  
3.7 Reporting: Transfer all metadata, data, documents, and images to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and/or upload all metadata, data, documents, and images into the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Bridge Portal.  

4.

Data Collection Table

 
4.1 None.  

5.

Criteria For Data Validation

 
5.1 None.  

6.

Commentary/Background

 
6.1 This protocol provides guidance for planning the detailed visual inspection of a bridge superstructure that consists of steel members. Use the listed protocols to guide data collection and recording.  
6.2 A bridge superstructure is the portion of a bridge structure that receives and supports traffic loads (distributed by the bridge deck) and, in turn, transfers these loads to the bridge substructure via the bridge bearings. A steel superstructure can consist of girders (rolled beams, rolled beams with a cover plate, or plate girders), floor beams and stringers (concrete encased, rolled, and welded or bolted plates), cross-frames, diaphragms, and vertical and/or horizontal stiffeners.  
6.3 Truss structures may have built-up sections for top and bottom chords, vertical and diagonal members, lateral and sway frame bracings, and gusset plates.  
6.4 The bearings are considered elements of the superstructure.  

7.

References

 
7.1 LTBP Protocols:  
7.1.1 PRE-PL-LO-004, Personal Health and Safety Plan.  
7.1.2 PRE-PL-LO-005, Personnel Qualifications.  
7.1.3 FLD-OP-SC-002, Structure Segmentation and Element Identification System.  
7.1.4 FLD-OP-SC-003, Determination of Local Origins for Elements.  
7.1.5 FLD-DC-VIB-001, Elastomeric Bearings.  
7.1.6 FLD-DC-VIB-002, Rocker Bearings.  
7.1.7 FLD-DC-VIS-002, Steel Superstructure—Corrosion.  
7.1.8 FLD-DC-VIS-003, Steel Superstructure—Section Loss.  
7.1.9 FLD-DC-VIS-004, Steel Superstructure—Cracking, Deflection, Uplift, Distortion, Buckling, Rotation, and Impact Damage.  
7.1.10 FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes.  
7.1.11 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local.  
7.1.12 FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote.  
7.2 External:  
7.2.1 FHWA-NHI-12-053, Bridge Inspector’s Reference Manual, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, 2012.  

 

 

 

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