A reliability-based bridge management concept

D. Zonta, R. Zandonini, F. Bortot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2004, the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, has adopted a Bridge Management System entirely based on reliability concepts. The system operates on the web, and includes sections for (1) condition state evaluation, (2) safety assessment, and (3) prioritization. Condition appraisal is based on visual inspections, and acknowledges the general rules of the AASHTO Commonly Recognized Standard Element system. Normally, the system conservatively estimates the prior reliability of each bridge, based on the sole inspection data. Where the condition of the bridge gives cause for concern, its reliability is evaluated in a more formal manner using multi-step procedures of increasing refinement. Decision-making is driven by a principle whereby priority is given to those actions that, within a certain budget, will minimize the risk of occurrence of an unacceptable event in the whole network. In this paper, the operation of the system is illustrated, with the support of a number of practical cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-235
Number of pages21
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


  • bridge management
  • condition state
  • cost
  • prioritization
  • reliability


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