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Bridges and Structures

Bridge Management

Bridge management is the process of making decisions on structure needs and arranging for resulting actions to occur at appropriate times (flowchart).  These may include maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions.  Some routine maintenance actions are regularly scheduled, while other maintenance and repair actions are identified through the Department's Bridge Inspection and Maintenance (BIM) system.  Rehabilitation and replacement strategies are typically determined through a bridge assessment that involves varying levels of analysis and engineering.  All bridge management decisions require inventory and inspection data on the structure to identify needs and appropriate actions.

Inventory

Bridge inventory data is maintained through the Department’s Transportation Infrastructure Management System (TIMS).  More information about TIMS is available at http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/3605.htm.  External users may login or request limited access to TIMS at https://extranet.inftra.gov.ab.ca/login.html.  The following user guides are available through TIMS and provide relevant information on bridge specific portions of TIMS data:

  • Bridge Information System Inventory User Guide;
  • Bridge Information System for Inspection Consultants.

Data reports (select bridge inventory data in tabular format):

Inspection

Level 1 bridge inspection data is collected on a regular basis, and is the result of thorough visual inspection by a trained and certified inspector.  The following documents describe this inspection process in detail:

Some recent updates related to the inspection system are as follows: 

Successful operation of this Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System requires trained and competent inspectors. The certification of inspectors is described in the following document:

The Department also maintains a quality assurance process to monitor the performance of inspectors.

Level 2 bridge inspection data collection requires specialized equipment and/or expertise, and can be either scheduled or identified through Level 1 inspections and/or bridge assessments.  The various Level 2 inspection types are described in the following document:

Assessments

Systematic bridge assessments are completed by the Department using in-house tools.  For sites where the determination of the optimal life-cycle strategy requires additional data and/or engineering analysis, consultant assignments are often completed.  Results of all assessments are tracked and used to develop bridge programs and support funding requests.  Further information on bridge assessments can be found at the following link: