Bridges

Cover of Semi-Automation of Float & Platform Vehicle Bridge Assessments
Semi-Automation of Float & Platform Vehicle Bridge Assessments
  • Publication no: ABC2017-043-17
  • Published: 20 April 2017

The volume of heavy vehicle permit applications has continued to increase at approximately 8% per annum in Western Australia, requiring more engineering assessment time and pressure to maintain agreed permit turnaround times.

To make the permit assessment process more efficient, Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) has recently developed a Heavy Vehicles assessment module as part of its corporate, electronic Bridge Management System (BMS) to semi-automate the permit assessment process. Period permits and single trip permits for floats and platforms are now completed.

The completion of this application has halved load assessment time, ensured consistency in permit assessment, improved response to the transport industry and minimised opportunity for litigious situations. In addition, by storing all previous permits electronically within BMS, the full history of permit assessments enables quick and consistent assessment of comparable future permit applications.

Outputs of all single trip permit assessments undertaken by MRWA bridge engineers are seamlessly incorporated into another application developed by Heavy Vehicle Services (HVS) for permit documentation and issue to the transport industry. This provides better business process linkages and removes human error in the transfer of data between load assessment outputs and permit conditions that are applied to the transport operator’s permit.

Single trip permit assessment within MRWA was requiring 1.5 engineers full time. It is anticipated that with the completed BMS single trip permits (still to implement semi-automation for special purpose vehicles and 4-tyre vehicles) MRWA will only require 0.5 engineers for this work. This equates to significant savings and refocus of a valuable full time resource for other asset management tasks.

This paper describes the approach adopted by MRWA to develop software that is used for all bridge load assessments for heavy vehicle single trip assessments. It also details the assessment methodology and shows the solutions adopted within BMS.