A Bridge Management System (BMS) is a comprehensive software solution used by transportation authorities, engineering firms, and infrastructure managers to efficiently manage the inspection, maintenance, and rehabilitation of structures such as bridges, box culverts etc. The primary goal of a BMS is to ensure the safety, functionality, and longevity of bridge structures while optimizing budget allocation as well as resource utilization. Key features typically found in a Bridge Inventory and Management System include:
- Database Management: A centralized database to store detailed information about each bridge within a network, including construction materials, structural components, historical data, inspection reports, and maintenance records.
- Asset Inventory: A detailed inventory of all bridge assets, including their locations, dimensions, geometrical, structural conditions, and traffic characteristics.
- Condition Assessment: Tools for conducting regular inspections and assessments of bridge conditions, including visual inspections, non-destructive testing, and structural health monitoring.
- Risk Assessment: Analytical tools to assess the risk levels associated with each bridge asset based on factors such as structural integrity, traffic volume, environmental conditions, and historical performance.
- Maintenance Planning: Modules for planning and scheduling routine maintenance activities, such as cleaning, painting, and minor repairs, to ensure optimal performance and longevity of bridge structures.
- Rehabilitation and Replacement Planning: Tools for identifying and prioritizing bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects based on factors such as structural deficiencies, safety risks, and cost-effectiveness.
- Budgeting and Financial Analysis: Features for budget planning, cost estimation, and financial analysis to optimize resource allocation and prioritize investment decisions.
- Performance Monitoring: Metrics and indicators to monitor the performance of bridge assets over time, including deterioration rates, service life projections, and compliance with safety standards.
- Reporting and Documentation: Customizable reporting capabilities to generate comprehensive reports for stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and decision-makers, including inspection findings, maintenance activities, and budgetary allocations.
- Integration with GIS and Other Systems: Integration with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), asset management systems, and other relevant software platforms to enhance data visualization, analysis, and decision-making processes.
Overall, a Bridge Management System plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety, reliability, and efficiency of transportation infrastructure networks by providing decision-makers with the tools and insights needed to effectively manage and maintain bridge assets.
Structural Analysis and Assessment
In most cases, visual inspection often result in large amounts of data stored in the BMS inventory that serve as input for image-based processes for defect and damage detection. While traditional method for simply relied on human evaluation, Computer Vision techniques taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning semi-automatize the extraction of meaningful information from pictures taken during inspections. For instance, recent applications of semantic segmentation allows the identification of elements affected by corrosion or other degradation phenomena, enabling experts to assign a grade of severity for the damage. Additional insights on the structure conditions are given by numerical simulations on fatigue behavior with finite element method modeling. This case is particularly valuable when data from in-depth detailed inspections or load tests are available, providing a rich information inventory also for computing simulations on stress behaviors and mechanics.