FHWA Initiates 'Long-Term Bridge Performance' Program

A 20-year research effort to collect data on bridges nationwide will lead to better investment decisions on those structures, Acting Federal Highway Administration head Jim Ray, has announced. "Bringing a strategic and national perspective to bridge research will offer tremendous benefits," Ray said. "The approach is forward-looking in providing the information bridge owners need to make the best investment decisions."

Ray added that the Long-Term Bridge Performance program represents a flagship initiative to collect and analyze performance data on selected bridges around the country to understand how they react under given conditions. The data collected will be used for a variety of purposes, including study of deterioration and durability of bridges and the impacts of maintenance and repair. Researchers expect the program to provide a better understanding of bridge deterioration, including the effects of corrosion, fatigue, environmental conditions and loadings.

The Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation has been awarded a contract, worth up to $25.5 million, to carry out the program through fiscal year 2012. The work will be conducted by a broad-based team assembled by the center representing state, local, and federal agencies, industry and academia.

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