R3.118 Life Cycle Management of Bridges


Rail bridges are long life, high dollar value assets. While track components are regularly renewed, bridges are often as originally constructed. It has been estimated that there are over 5000 rail bridges in the Australian Rail network. A system or process that would assist Rail operators and maintainers predict bridge life and help prioritise maintenance requirements is highly desired by the Australian Rail Industry.


The main objective of this project is to determine the relationships between engineering ratings, load histories and projections and Remaining Service Potential of bridges to allow informed economic decisions to be made regarding repair, replacement upgrade, feasible remedial actions and cost effective selection between options. Maintenance and economics approaches will be used to establish an effective rating system for bridges to be managed from bridge level to element level, based on safety, statutory requirements, service life and economy.


The project will develop a software tool together with guidelines/manual for Life Cycle Bridge Management. This will allow bridges to be rated for effective bridge management.


The benefits of this research can be realized in cost savings resulting from better decisions on bridge management and maintenance via improved methods of accessing remaining life.