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Bridge safety is not for granted – A novel approach to bridge management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Article number109193
Number of pages9
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue number109193
Early online date21 Jun 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 13 May 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Oct 2019


Bridges are crucial points of connection in the transport system, underpinning economic vitality, social well-being and logistics of modern communities. Bridges have also strategic relevance, since they support access to emergency services (e.g. hospitals) and utilities (e.g. water supplies). Bridges are mostly exposed to natural hazards, in particular riverine bridges to flooding, and disruption could lead to widespread negative effects. Therefore, protecting bridges enhances the resilience of cities and communities.

Currently, most of the countries are not able to identify bridges at higher risk of failure, due to the unavailability of high-quality data, the mix ownership of the assets or the lack of a risk-based assessment. This paper introduces a risk-based approach to bridge management, alongside the gaps of current methodologies. Then, it presents a preliminary protocolled taxonomy for data collection of riverine bridges in flood-prone areas, while illustrating the implication of a national bridge inventory in the UK. This paper advocates the engagement of national authorities for developing a roadmap of policies leading to a unified bridge database functional for strategic risk assessment.

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