Bridge repairs
November 25, 2020
2 months

HOW TO KEEP BRIDGES FULLY OPERATIONAL AND SAFE OVER THE YEARS?

Ensuring that bridges are well preserved, kept fully operational, and that users are always safe, is an enormous challenge for owners and concession holders. How to manage the risks of ever-ageing assets?

Over the past few years, the management of bridges across their entire life has become a major issue. Typical service life has been extended from 50 to 100 years, or even 120 years, thanks to the development of new solutions and because we have a better understanding of what makes structures sustainable.

With a mature infrastructure network, knowing how to maintain and repair these structures, especially their structural systems – bearings, prestressing, stay cables, etc., has become crucial – as has the need to allow for eventual replacement of components.

More broadly, the discipline of durability engineering has emerged, bringing together design, systems and technologies, construction processes, maintenance, repairs and upgrades. As a result, VSL has positioned itself to work across all stages of a structure’s life, with experienced specialists on tap.

Recurring issues affect the health of a structure

Having full knowledge about the current condition and possible deterioration mechanisms is key to deciding what needs to be done. We have identified five recurring issues, that can be addressed with appropriate repair and retrofit solutions.

The BIG 5 of bridge ageing
The BIG 5 of bridge ageing

Corrosion

The main driver of deterioration of concrete and steel structures can lead to a rapid loss of serviceability and structural capacity.

Fatigue

Fluctuating live and environmental loads can fatigue the structural components, especially in light and flexible structures.

Changes

New design codes, alterations in use or increased traffic can change live and environmental loads on the structure or result in additional functional requirements.

Seismic events

New design codes, alterations in use or increased traffic can change live and environmental loads on the structure or result in additional functional requirements.

Ground erosion and scour under foundations or water leakages can be a severe threat to structural integrity and serviceability.

Ground erosion and scour under foundations or water leakages can be a severe threat to structural integrity and serviceability.

“A combination of individual solutions”

Assisting owners and operators throughout the entire lifecycle of their assets, VSL has understood one thing: there is no one solution fitting all approaches, but rather a combination of individual solutions. Watch the video of Andras Schwartz, VSL Manager of the Asset Preservation, Structural Repairs and upgrading Business Line.

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