Evaluation of Bridge Decks using Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) at Near Highway Speeds for Effective Asset Management

Sponsor: Michigan Department of Transportation

PI: Theresa Ahlborn

Remote sensing technologies allow for the condition evaluation of bridge decks at near highway speed. Data collection at near highway speed for assessment of the top of the concrete deck and proof of concept testing for the underside of the deck was conducted for surface and subsurface evaluation. 3-D photogrammetry was combined with passive thermography to detect spalls, cracks and delaminations for the top of the concrete bridge deck, while active thermography was investigated for bottom deck surface condition assessment. Successful field demonstrations validated results comparable to MDOT inspections. Recommendations for immediate implementation for condition assessment of the top of a concrete deck are included for introducing the BridgeViewer Remote Camera System into current bridge inspections to provide a photo inventory of the bridge deck captured at 45mph and above using GoPro cameras. The combined optical photogrammetry (3DOBS) and passive thermography technologies provide an objective analysis of spalls, cracks and suspected delaminations while traveling at near highways speed. Using the same 3DOBS technology with higher resolution cameras and slower speeds, cracks can be detected as small as 1/32 in. Laboratory and field demonstrations show active thermography would benefit from further development as a remote sensing technology for condition assessment on the underside of the bridge deck.

A copy of this report can be found on the Michigan Department of Transportation website.

Tess Ahlborn
Tess Ahlborn