Allocation of bridge maintenance costs based on prioritization indexes
Prioritization indexes (PI) are a need-based bridge maintenance approach, which allows making short-term maintenance decisions. They generally use just the bridge condition as an explanatory variable, therefore, prioritizing is easy to do. When these indexes are multidimensional, prioritization depends not just on the bridge conditions, but also on variables such as vulnerability and their strategic importance. This paper discusses a simple and direct procedure to allocate bridge maintenance costs by using a PI based on the bridge condition, their strategic importance and vulnerability. The procedure combines maintenance activities within the strategies of routine and preventive maintenance, repair, reinforcement, reconstruction or replacement. It includes the calculation of maintenance costs by maintenance activity and strategy, in order to integrate them in a cost matrix. The procedure is applied to a 24-m long bridge, whose infrastructure is made of concrete, steel beams and concrete deck. Unit costs of 60 maintenance activities were calculated, and a sensitivity analysis was carried out to establish the cost by linear meter in relation to PI explanatory variables. The cost was sensitive to bridge condition, their vulnerability, and relevance within the road network.
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