6. Condition and Performance Monitoring
In the case of structures assets, condition assessment and performance assessment (Figure 6.1) are based on inspection, monitoring and reporting. Load testing and load rating are technical procedures that assist in determining structural competence of a bridge to sustain intended loads and level of service criteria. These assessments and procedures are precursors to analysis, determination of strength and the setting of priorities for strategic investment and the allocation of budgets for asset maintenance, renewal and upgrading.
Decision support tools utilise information systems and databases. Other tools are used to collect, store and process the data and to automate some of the analysis required as input to the asset management decisions. A structures management system is used as a tool by the structures asset manager to achieve a disciplined approach to regular inspections. The structures management system facilitates the analytical process which outputs:
- performance reports
- works program.
These outputs are then utilised in the feedback loop to complete the cyclical process of bridge asset management.
Performance reports for bridges address the indicators of ‘level of service’ or ‘bridge sufficiency’. Key attributes utilised in the derivation of these indicators are load capacity, safety reliability, and clearances.
These same principles can be applied to all structures assets, with some small modifications as required.
Standard inspection reports assist in ensuring the quality and consistency of inspections. Examples for bridges in particular may be found in road agency structure inspection manuals (e.g. VicRoads 2014, TMR 2016).