Influence of Functionally Obsolete Bridges on the Efficiency of Road Network. Part I: Obsolescence Characteristics and Assessment

Zenonas Kamaitis


Deterioration of road bridges is causing serious problems in many countries of the world. Extensive research is carried out on the structural deterioration and defects of bridges and considerably less attention is given for their functional obsolescence. Inadequate deck geometry and clearances of bridges due to the increasing traffic volumes lead to the traffic safety and economic problems and influence the efficiency of a whole road transportation system. Typical bridge obsolescence model is analysed. Classification of five obsolescence categories and the main factors showing the functional obsolescence of bridges is presented. They include the deck roadway geometry (width and alignment), safety measures (barriers and railings), vertical and horizontal clearances beneath the bridge, alignment of the approach roadway, and waterway adequacy. Parameters assessing the functional obsolescence of bridges and the additional owner’s and user’s costs are identified. Decision-making strategy for obsolete bridges is discussed.


road bridges; functional obsolescence; obsolescence categories and criteria; cost-based assessment; obsolescence management

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DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2012.24


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