Infrasense recently attended the 2015 Western Bridge Preservation Partnership meeting in Portland, Oregon. The meeting was held to discuss bridge preservation practices that are currently being used. The gathering also provided a forum to discuss bridge preservation strategies-including treatments; management; inspection; improvements in research, design, specifications, and materials; and to promote the benefits of Bridge Preservation through education and application.
The Western Bridge Preservation Partnership is a regional forum comprised of bridge practitioners from State and Local Agencies, Contractors, Consultants, Suppliers, Academia, and Federal Government Officials in a sharing of bridge preservation practices throughout the Western Region. Topics of discussion included bridge deck evaluation methods, deck preservation treatments, superstructure inspections and preventative coatings, maintenance practices, corrosion mitigation, and hydro-demolition of bridge decks. The meeting also included presentations from industry leaders about bridge preservation management, amongst other technical presentations.
Adam Carmichael, Infrasense’s Operations Manager, exhibited at the meeting, and discussed Infrasense’s high-speed scanning capabilities used to map subsurface conditions of roads and bridges. There was a great deal of interest in how different State transportation agencies are currently using nondestructive methods such as ground penetrating radar and infrared thermography. A large part of this conversation is the use of nondestructive testing data to prioritize bridge deck preservation decisions; particularly with States facing increasingly limited funding.
Infrasense also attended the 9th International Conference on Managing Pavement Assets in Alexandria, Virginia. The Transportation Research Board (TRB), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia Tech, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the World Road Association all helped to organize the 9th International Conference on Managing Pavement Assets (ICMPA9). The conference’s main theme was to move pavement management beyond the short-term: embracing innovation and addressing sustainability, accountability, and improved performance.
A Pavement Management System (PMS) incudes a database of all information about each pavement segment in a jurisdiction (city/state/county), predictive models that projects how each pavement segment will deteriorate over time, and optimization and planning procedures for determining maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) needs and costs over an extended time period. Typically the condition of the pavement is assessed based on what is seen on the surface- cracking, rutting, and roughness. Traditionally, continuous pavement layer thickness measurements have not been included in the deterioration modeling and M&R projections.
This conference discussed new aspects of a pavement management system; a device for measuring the deflection of pavement at driving speed, or Traffic Speed Deflectometer (TSD). This device now provides information on the pavement strength, which can accompany the data on surface condition. That strength information benefits from the availability of the pavement layer thickness data that Infrasense provides.
The Friday following the ICMPA9, Ken Maser met with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to discuss a pooled funded study with the objective to evaluate the TSD device and to develop methods for incorporating the data into Pavement Management Systems. Infrasense is involved in this study through an upcoming project with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). This project will collect data from both GPR and TSD methods on a 518-mile loop and determine the pavements structural capacity.