Condition Assessment of Concrete Bridges using GPR Technology
Bridge Management Systems (BMSs) are being used worldwide by transportation agencies as a means to effectively manage the stocks of existing bridges. Quebec Ministry of Transportation (MTQ) own and maintain a huge inventory of over 9,600 bridges, i.e. provincial: 5,300 and municipal: 4,300 bridges. MTQ uses visual inspection, which is always subjective to operators’ technique, experience, and interpretation, to record defects on bridges and assess their conditions. Although visual inspection can find most of the external flaws; however, it cannot detect internal defects in structures. Many efforts have been made to solve such problems using non-destructive evaluation (NDE) technologies, which is still rather limited. In addition, most of the developed techniques focused on condition rating of bridge decks neglecting to include the other bridge elements. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to develop a condition assessment system for concrete bridges based upon the inspection outputs of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) as a NDE technology. The proposed research will make bridges safer to the society and environment by developing innovative/GPR-based bridge condition assessment model(s) and tool(s), which facilitate the role of decision makers in assessing the status of bridge decks and deciding on the most appropriate method to rehabilitate or replace decks.