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REPORT
This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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—Joints Protocols (VIJ)

FLD-DC-VIJ-001, Drainage System on Bridge Decks and Approach Slabs

FLD-DC-VIJ-002, Expansion Joints

Long-Term Bridge Performance Program Logo

Drainage System on Bridge Decks and Approach Slabs
LTBP Protocol #: FLD-DC-VIJ-001


1.

Data Collected

 
1.1 Ponding and drainage locations and data from visual inspection of drainage systems for bridge decks and approaches for functionality and evidence of ponding.  

2.

Onsite Equipment and Personnel Requirements

 
2.1 Equipment:  
2.1.1 PRE-PL-LO-004, Personal Health and Safety Plan.  
2.1.2 Ladder, access platform, snooper bucket truck, man lift, and/or high-reach equipment (if necessary).  
2.1.3 Tape measure.  
2.1.4 6-ft folding rule.  
2.1.5 Mirror.  
2.1.6 Broom or shovel.  
2.1.7 Temporary marker.  
2.1.8 Digital camera.  
2.1.9 Pencil, sketch pad, and clipboard.  
2.2 Personnel: PRE-PL-LO-005, Personnel Qualifications.  

3.

Methodology

 
3.1 Use the data collection grid (FLD-OP-SC-001, Data Collection Grid and Coordinate System for Bridge Decks) to locate defects on the deck and on both approach slabs.  
3.2 If possible, perform the visual inspection of the drainage system during a rain event.  
3.3 Check for ponding and signs of water staining on the deck and approach slabs to determine possible limits of water ponding.  
3.4 Record the type and location of visible defects: ponding or signs of water staining.  
3.5 Examine the inlets, outlet pipes, and downspout pipe (if any) in each span for collecting debris or signs of blockage. Record instances of debris or blockage.  
3.6 Look underneath deck for signs of drainage leakage.  
3.7 Check connections and supports to the outlet pipes and downspout pipes attached to the superstructure and substructure. Record locations of any loose connections or missing supports. Record any instance of water from drains falling directly onto a bridge member, such as girders, bearings, and pile and pier caps.  
3.8 Documenting defects:  
3.8.1 Take photographs of defects using FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes, and create a photo log.  
3.8.2 Use sketches as needed to document ponding, debris-laden inlets, or signs of blockages, and supplement the photographs.  
3.9 Storing data, documents, and images:  
3.9.1 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local, for local storage.  
3.9.2 FLD-DS-RS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Remote, for remote storage.  
3.10 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 Table:  
# Field Name Data Type Accuracy Unit Field Description Row Color
1 State
Text
 
 
State Code; e.g., Virginia = VA
Green
2 NBI structure number
Text
 
 
Item 8, structure number; from NBI Coding Guide
Green
3 Structure name
Text
 
 
Descriptive name for the bridge; e.g., Route 15 SB over I–66
Green
4 Protocol name
Text
 
 
Title of the protocol
Green
5 Protocol version
Text
Month and year
 
Month and year the protocol version was published; e.g., May 2015
Green
6 Personnel performing data collection activities
Text
 
 
First name(s) Last name(s)
Green
7 Date data was collected
Text
Exact date
 
mm/dd/yyyy
Green
Ponding or Water Stains
Pink
8 Defect type
List
 
 
Presence of ponded water
Presence of water stains
Blue
9 Location of defect (x‑coordinate)
Number
1
in.
Transverse distance from origin
Yellow
10 Location of defect (y‑coordinate)
Number
1
in.
Longitudinal distance from origin
Yellow
11 Defect site
Text
 
 
Describe the location of data collection on the bridge (e.g., span number, lane number, right or left shoulder, substructure unit, etc.)
Yellow
12 Defect photos and sketches
BLOB
 
 
Document all separate defects with photos and/or sketches
Yellow
13 Comments
Text
 
 
 
Orange
Damaged or Blocked Drainage Inlets
Pink
14 Defect type
List
 
 
Fully blocked inlet
Partially blocked inlet
Damaged inlet
Blue
15 Location of defect: (x‑coordinate of center of the drainage inlet)
Number
1
in.
Transverse distance from origin
Yellow
16 Location of defect: (y‑coordinate of center of the drainage inlet)
Number
1
in.
Longitudinal distance from origin
Yellow
17 Defect photos and sketches
BLOB
 
 
Document typical defects with photos and/or sketches
Yellow
18 Comments
Text
 
 
 
Orange
Damaged or Blocked Drainage Downspout Outlets
Pink
19 Defect description
List
 
 
Select all that apply:
  • Full blockage of outlet
  • Partial blockage of outlet
  • Loose connections and supports for pipes
  • Missing connections and supports for pipes
  • Drainage water falling directly onto bridge member below
Blue
20 Location of defect on superstructure or substructure
Text
 
 
e.g., pier column 1A, 5 ft above ground elevation
Yellow
21 Defect photos and sketches
BLOB
 
 
If defects are present, document typical defects with photos and/or sketches
Yellow
22 Comments
Text
 
 
If drainage water is falling directly onto a bridge member, please note onto which bridge member the water is falling.
Put other comments in this field.
Orange
4.2 Table Key:  
Column Descriptions
#
Sequential number of data item
Field Name
Data field name
Data Type
Type of data, such as text, number, predefined list, binary large object (BLOB), or PDF file
Accuracy
Accuracy to which the data are recorded
Unit
Unit in which a measurement is taken and recorded
Field Description
Commentary on the data or list of items in a predefined list
Row Color Key
Green
Data items only entered once for each protocol for each day the protocol is applied
Pink
Logical breakdown of data by elements or defect types (not always used)
Blue
Data identifying the element being evaluated or the type of defect being identified
Yellow
LTBP data reported individually for each element or defect identified
Orange
Comments on the data collection or data entered

5.

Criteria for Data Validation

 
5.1 Compare measurements with measurements from previous inspections of the same structure to make sure that values make sense.  
5.2 Compare measurements with photo documentation to make sure results shown in photos are consistent with items measured.  
5.3 If an element’s condition is improved when compared to the condition documented in a previous inspection, check with the State department of transportation to determine if any maintenance, repair, and/or bridge preservation actions have occurred. If so, document these maintenance, repair, and/or bridge preservation actions using appropriate protocols.  

6.

Commentary/Background

 
6.1 This protocol provides guidance for identifying, locating, and measuring the extent of defects in the bridge drainage system as well as evidence of water ponding on the deck or the approach slab.  
6.2 The proper functioning of the bridge’s drainage system is crucial for directing storm water and snow melt off the bridge deck and approach slabs. The basic elements of a bridge drainage system consist of the following:  
6.2.1 Deck cross slope.  
6.2.2 Deck drains or inlets.  
6.2.3 Downspout pipes.  
6.2.4 Outlet pipes  
6.3 The primary reason for drainage failure is debris clogging the deck drain (scupper) and/or downspouts. When drainage pipes and inlets become clogged, the water from the deck collects along the gutter line and ponding of water occurs.  
6.4 Ponding can have the following consequences:  
6.4.1 Increased risk of water infiltration and chemical attacks on the decks and safety barriers at the interface with the deck.  
6.4.2 Hazards to the motoring public.  
6.4.3 Erosion of embankment slopes.  
6.4.4 Possible settlement of the bridge approach slabs.  
6.4.5 Water falling from the bridge’s drainage system directly onto other bridge members below (such as girders, girder ends, bearings, and pile/pier caps) can cause premature deterioration of these bridge members and/or exacerbate existing corrosion.  

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-001, Data Collection Grid and Coordinate System for Bridge Decks.  
7.1.4 FLD-DC-PH-002, Photographing for Documentation Purposes.  
7.1.5 FLD-DS-LS-001, Data, Document, and Image Storage—Local.  
7.1.6 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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