Bridges

Cover of Network Importance of Melbourne's Metropolitan Bridges: Development of a Strategic Bridge Prioritisation Framework
Network Importance of Melbourne's Metropolitan Bridges: Development of a Strategic Bridge Prioritisation Framework
  • Publication no: ABC2017-145-17
  • Published: 26 April 2017

VicRoads manages a network of some 1,700 bridges across metropolitan Melbourne. Many of these bridges are critical for the safe operation of the transport network which provides for the movement of passenger and freight vehicles and public transport users. The development of bridgeworks programs, to address maintenance, repair and bridge capacity deficiencies therefore requires careful prioritisation.

VicRoads has typically prioritised its bridgeworks programs based on the age and condition of a bridge as well as any changes in performance requirements that inevitably occur over time, such as the introduction of heavier freight vehicles and/or trams.

While the above approach has also taken into account factors such as the importance of the bridge to the transport network, there has not been to date an explicit framework upon which bridgework priorities could be based on. As a result, VicRoads has had mixed success in procuring funding for its bridgeworks program.

In response, VicRoads is developing a prioritization methodology, referred to as a ‘Strategic Bridge Prioritisation Framework’ (or “Framework” for short) to ensure that the broader needs of the transport network are seen to be strategically and effectively accounted for.

This paper presents the key features and benefits of the ’Framework’ which include:

  • Adoption of a rational methodology for the prioritisation of bridge projects based on maximising benefits to the overall transport network and the community.
  • Priorities to be seen to clearly and transparently addressing the criticality and strategic value of the bridge project to the overall transport network and reflecting both short and long term bridge asset management strategy.
  • Implications for the community clearly identified, should the works not be funded. These implications could include service reductions, load limits, increased travel times, environmental effects and associated economic costs.
  • Development of consolidated business cases for the management of VicRoads bridges which maximise benefits to the overall transport network and the community.