Integration of practical supplemental measurements into bridge condition visual inspection grading

Shabana N., Avsar O., CANER A.

BRIDGE STRUCTURES, vol.16, no.4, pp.139-153, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3233/brs-200179
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index, Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.139-153
  • Keywords: Bridge inspection, subjectivity, condition assessment, dynamic characteristics


The reliability of condition assessment of bridges obtained from analysis of visual inspection data is always a big concern among structural engineers. It has been known that the condition grading of a bridge is very subjective and can convey limited information to the end user. To finalize and verify the reported condition grading, inspectors and bridge owners have mainly been relying on images. It has been known that the image observation may not be sufficient to address all kinds of problems associated with visual condition grading. The integration of practical supplemental measurements into condition grading as proposed in this paper will contribute to minimize the errors in visual inspection. Measurement of vehicle induced vibrations through wireless accelerometers can be used to determine the natural frequencies of the bridge that can be reported at each inspection. The change in frequencies can be an indication of deterioration in stiffness of bridge over the years. Taking concrete samples by chipping at the inspection site and analyzing them under scanning electron microscope (SEM) at the laboratory can be used to identify the current problems with concrete degradation. In this scope, the regular bridge inspection procedure with the proposed enhancements has been performed on field inspection of highway bridges in Turkey to determine the practicality of the quick supplemental measurements and to analyze the difference in grading of the three different inspectors with different level of experiences.