Infrastructure Technology Institute
The December 2009 meeting of the Midwest Bridge Working Group, an ITI-sponsored forum for information exchange among bridge maintenance, inspection, and preservation professionals, was held in conjunction with the kickoff meeting of the new Southeast Bridge Working Group in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Among the 95 attendees were federal and state department of transportation personnel, consultants, and researchers. A total of 20 state departments of transportation were represented. Presentations covered a wide variety of topics of interest to the bridge maintenance, inspection, and preservation community.
William Dye of the Dye Management Group opened the meeting with a talk on building the business case for bridge maintenance. He was followed by Pete Weykamp of the New York State DOT, who presented the results of a recent scan of bridge management practices throughout the nation. Later, Ken Jacoby of the Federal Highway Administration and Danny Tullier of the Lousiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) gave federal and state perspectives, respectively, on bridge preservation and maintenance.
Bridge decks and deck joints also received considerable attention. Vince Kazakavich and Debbie Steiger of Watson Bowman discussed sustainable deck joints, and Rob Potter of Nevada DOT presented his agency’s experience with asphaltic plug joints. Ken Maser of Infrasense gave a presentation on the use of ground-penetrating radar and infrared imaging for evaluation of bridge decks, and Paul Krauss of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates discussed selection of bridge deck overlays, sealers, and treatments.
ITI research engineer Mathew Kotowsky gave a presentation on best practices for communication and control hardware and software for remote monitoring of structures. The experience of the ITI Research Engineering Group has shown that the success of a remote structural health monitoring project often hinges on the effectiveness and robustness of the communication and control processes.
Two presentations covered access for inspections: Arthur D’Andrea of Louisiana DOTD spoke about accessibility for inspection and repair of bridge components, and Marshall Whitmer of the Specialty Group gave a talk on underwater bridge inspection in high-risk environments.
Ted Hopwood of the University of Kentucky – Kentucky Transportation Center presented a case study of cracked stay cable sheathing on a cable-stayed bridge. The meeting concluded with a roundtable discussion on bridge preservation and maintenance moderated by Anwar Ahmad of Virginia DOT. The meeting was recorded and broadcast over the Internet by the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development and Louisiana State University, which hosted the event.
On the second day of the meeting the group visited a newly-rehabilitated movable bridge over Bayou Grosse Tete, a small but busy waterway near Baton Rouge. The bridge opened several times during the field trip, allowing the attendees to see it in action.