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Structure and Infrastructure Engineering:

Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and
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Bridge management in Turkey: a BMS design with

customised functionalities
Ferhat Akgul
Department of Engineering Sciences, Middle East Technical University, MM Building, 8th
Floor, Universiteler Mah. Dumlupinar Blvd. No.1, 06800Ankara, Turkey
Published online: 27 Apr 2015.

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Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, 2015

Bridge management in Turkey: a BMS design with customised functionalities

Ferhat Akgul*
Department of Engineering Sciences, Middle East Technical University, MM Building, 8th Floor, Universiteler Mah. Dumlupinar Blvd.
No.1, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
(Received 13 November 2014; final version received 14 January 2015; accepted 29 January 2015)

The overall design and customised functionalities of a bridge management system (BMS), developed in Turkey in 2009
2013 period (the so-called KYS), are presented. The novel design features are explained. Development of the web-based
BMS involved the establishment of a bridge inventory database, a detailed multi-layer cost database with an itemised unit
cost breakdown capability, inventory management, cost and planning modules, optimal allocation of maintenance-repair
replacement (MR&R) budgets while producing repair cost estimates at damage level, a network-level multi-criteria
prioritisation implementation, establishment of a damage-level condition evaluation and rating model, 13 separate
customised functionalities, and visual inspections and data entry for a pilot group of 200 bridges. Matrices containing bridge
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types versus element types and element types versus damage types are constructed. For each element, a dynamic list is
developed that can expand or contract depending on an elements damage types. A check mark-based interactive decision-
making capability is built, by which the user can overwrite the recommended decisions. BMS is being used by the bridge
administration. Out of a total of 7514 bridges in Turkey, in 2014, the damage-level inspection data of over 3000 bridges is
entered into the inventory. Entry of bridge and inspection data for the remaining bridge stock will be completed in 2015.
Keywords: bridges; management; bridge management systems; inspection; maintenance; damage; repair

1. Introduction bridges. In view of a growing need for maintenance

Bridge maintenance contributes greatly to the healthy planning for deteriorating bridges, in 2005, KGM decided
development of a national economy. Notable infrastructure to develop a bridge management system (BMS) and
developments in Turkey were witnessed only after the post- contacted Middle East Technical University. A proposal
war period. The main priority was the development of the submitted to TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological
railroads, state roads and bridges along these routes. Research Council of Turkey) was accepted in 2009 and the
Nowadays, since most of the infrastructure is still young, BMS development for KYS (Turkish equivalent of the
the emphasis is still on building new bridges instead of term BMS) was completed in 2013.
adequately maintaining and repairing the aging ones. As of In 2011, theoretical formulations of a condition
2014, there is 65,783 km state and provincial roads and evaluation and rating model developed for KYS, to
2244 km of highways in Turkey. In the past decade, a very determine the percentage of each condition state that an
rapid traffic growth in Turkey enforced the dualling of many element belongs to by taking into account the weighted
main roads which increased the number of bridges to 7514 as effects of damage types, were submitted for publication
of the end of 2013 (420.7 km of bridge length, corresponding and the results were published in Akgul (2013). In that
to an average bridge length of 56 meters). In the period paper, establishment of a prototype inspection program,
20032013, 1547 new bridges were built. The dual roads inspection planning, mapping studies, a grid-based bridge
reached to 22,845 km in 2013 compared to 6101 km in 2003. labelling system, equipments used for visual inspections,
The need to dual created opportunity for building a new details of the testing equipments to be used for the NDT
second bridge for the dual road and then using that bridge as studies, a condition state categorisation scheme and an
the diversion bridge while repairs are undertaken for the introductory summary of the BMS development process
original bridge. Although the budget allocated for bridge were presented. The three-level software architecture
maintenance is still insufficient, because of repair needs of including presentation, logic, and data management layers
existing bridges on dual roads, maintenance and repair was also described. The preliminary stages and results of
budget for bridges is expected to increase. the research study were presented. Modules and
General Directorate of Highways (KGM) within the functionalities of the BMS were not yet developed at
Ministry of Transportation of Turkey is responsible for the that time. The inspection results were also not entered into
maintenance and operation of the national road network of the bridge inventory database which was still in

q 2015 Taylor & Francis
2 F. Akgul

development. The paper focused on the model formu- scope. They are planned to be included in KYS in the
lations and detailed explanations of the newly developed future. BMS development not only involved the software
model for damage-level condition evaluation. development but also a representative bridge inspection
Between 2011 and 2013, development of the BMS program that provided the initial data for the bridge
continued. In 2013, the required modules and functions of inventory. A pilot bridge group consisting of 200 bridges,
KYS were fully implemented and its design was representing the overall characteristics of bridges in the
completed. This paper presents the final completed design country, was selected for visual inspections. Further-
of KYS, its overall structure, complete description of its more, 10 bridges out of 200 were tested by NDT
modules, their layouts, optimisation and prioritisation techniques. When the visual inspections for the pilot
techniques used, and the customised and unique bridge group were completed in 2011, the web-based
functionalities implemented in its design, based on the BMS was being developed and the bridge inventory was
needs of the bridge administration. Development of the being constructed for the pilot bridge group. The results
web-based BMS, encompassing the establishment of a of the inspections of the pilot bridge group are outside the
bridge inventory database, a detailed multi-layer cost scope of this paper.
database with an itemised unit cost breakdown capability, Matrices containing definitions of bridge types versus
inventory management, cost and planning modules, a element types and element types versus damage types have
model for optimal allocation of maintenance-repair been constructed and implemented in the KYS. Determi-
replacement (MR&R) budgets while producing repair cost nation of the condition states and transfer of inspection
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estimates at damage level, implementation of a network results to the system were also completed. The system has
level multi-criteria-based prioritisation, establishment of a an optimisation module at damage level and a prioritisa-
damage-level condition evaluation and rating model, 13 tion module at network level for bridge maintenance,
separate customised and novel functionalities to meet the repair, and replacement decisions. KYS is currently being
needs of the bridge administration and the characteristics used by the KGM in Turkey to collect inspection data on
of the bridges in the country, is presented. bridges and to plan and monitor the maintenance, repair
Currently, a BMS with an element condition and replacement needs of its nationwide bridge stock.
evaluation model, in which the element condition state In 2014, damage-level inspection data of over 3000
distribution can be obtained from the condition state bridges (40% of the bridge stock) is entered into the
distributions of different damage types, does not exist. system. Entry of bridge and inspection data into the
Unlike many of the existing BMSs, KYS is designed to inventory for all bridges in the nations bridge stock is
provide information for decisions needed to manage a expected to be completed in 2015.
specific bridge at a greater detail including the damage
level. In KYS, an attempt is made to handle network-level
multi-criteria prioritisation and the damage-level con- 2. Bridge management in the world
dition, quantity and cost estimation within the same BMS Bridge management is a vast subject encompassing broad
framework. It improves the current state of the practise, study areas, each of which is a research field in its own,
which considers the bridge element as the main unit for such as deterioration modelling and life-cycle cost
condition, quantity and cost estimation for repairs. (Frangopol, 1999; Frangopol & Liu, 2007), reliability
At optimisation stage, an interactive capability is provided (Akgul & Frangopol, 2005; Zonta, Zandonini, & Bortot,
by which expert decisions can be made for a bridge at 2007), Markov Chains (Cesare, Santamarina, Turkstra, &
damage levels. Vanmarcke, 1992; Corotis, Hugh ellis, & Jiang, 2005;
Furthermore, at the planning stage, a functionality is Jiang, 1990), inspection and monitoring techniques (Fu,
provided for the expert to modify repair, rehabilitation and 2005; Malhotra & Carino, 2004), structural condition
replacement decisions for multiple bridges within the same assessment (Ratay, 2005) and health monitoring (Wenzel,
screen. KYS makes replacement recommendation for a 2009). Following the scientific literature and improvement
bridge as an option, based on cost of repairs only. If it is of evaluation and inspection manuals, guides and codes in
decided to replace the bridge based on this recommen- this field, such as AASHTO (1994) and FHWA (1991,
dation, KGM is required to ensure that the bridge has 2002), reference works also appeared on bridge manage-
insufficient load-carrying capacity. An automatic structural ment within the past two decades.
capacity check is not yet incorporated into the system. The Early reference works on the subject were limited only
features described earlier are explained in this paper within to individual chapters within highway and bridge
the context of the layouts of the respective screens. engineering references and handbooks (Fwa, 2006) and
The scope of the KYS development was initially for to collection of works (Chen & Duan, 2003; Ghosn &
the state and provincial road bridges in Turkey. Historical Frangopol, 1999; Tonias & Zhao, 2007). Later, attempts
bridges (which are ancient bridges) and highway bridges were also made to bring together all of the tasks
(which are relatively new bridges) were outside the initial encountered in the bridge management process (Ryall,
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 3

2010; Yanev, 2007). However, because of the subjects formed the basis for element level condition evaluation.
multi-directional and vast research nature, ranging from Later, the CoRe elements were adopted as the preferred
theoretical micro-level concrete corrosion modelling to standard to collect bridge condition information
macro network-level economic analyses and management (AASHTO, 1998). In 2011, AASHTO Bridge Element
techniques, a reference containing all tasks within a BMS Inspection Manual (AASHTO, 2013) replaced the CoRe
in a comprehensive manner does not seem practical. Series elements. The new inspection manual states that:
of seven IABMAS conferences held every 2 years in the improvements have been made to fully capture the
past decade (2002 2014), reflect the comprehensive condition of the elements by reconfiguring the element
nature of the subject and serve as a vast collection of language to utilise multiple distress paths within the defined
literature on bridge maintenance, safety, management, life condition states. The multi-path distress language provides
the means to fully incorporate all possible defects within the
cycle performance and cost. Recent research areas related
overall condition assessment of the element. The overall
to BMSs cover subjects such as network level analyses condition of an element can be utilised in this aggregate
(Bocchini & Frangopol, 2011), life-cycle performance and form or broken down into specific defects present as desired
management (Frangopol, 2011), life-cycle cost benefit by the agency for Bridge Management System use.
analysis (Thoft-Christensen, 2009), among others.
In 2012, in an FHWA Memorandum (FHWA, 2012) on
JICA (1996) classified BMSs simply in four basic
collection of element level bridge inspection data, number
levels: (1) simple inspection record keeping systems, (2)
one goal for NBI Coding Guide Update Initiative is
priority ranking systems, (3) project level (bridge level)
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stated as quality data that reflects current conditions at a

optimisation capable systems and (4) network level
more detailed or granular level. Such developments
optimisation capable systems. In (1), decisions on
support a trend towards giving more emphasis on
maintenance, rehabilitation and replacements are based
considering all possible damage types of an element in
upon the experience and opinion of experienced engineers.
element-level condition evaluation.
In (2), priority lists can be obtained based on a bridge rating
that combines a number of quantitative bridge character-
istics. In (3), a variety of alternatives can be evaluated for an
3. Bridge management in Turkey
individual bridge. An optimisation procedure can be used,
usually taking into account life-cycle cost concept. In (4), 3.1. Topography, climate and bridge characteristics
alternative strategies can be formed not only at project level Turkey is topographically diverse with high mountains in
but also at network level. At the advanced level, the the eastern part, rolling steppe lands in the central part, long
objective of a BMS is to perform M&R optimisation both at stretched coastlines, and vast river plains and valleys,
project and network levels so that a variety of alternative which cause varying climatic conditions throughout the
strategies can be evaluated for a bridge network leading to country. Majority of the bridges are river crossings in the
maximum safety and optimal cost. Such an approach must west and valley and railroad crossings in the east. Black sea
take into account the total life cycle cost concept. region receives considerable rain throughout the year along
There are a large variety of BMSs, all relatively similar the coast and in the mountainous hinterland areas. Due to
in general scope and aims. However, their functionalities floods, bridge damages in this region occur frequently,
differ anywhere between levels (1) and (4) depending on the sometimes followed by a collapse causing loss of life.
needs of the bridge administration and the country. Turkey is also one of the most frequent earthquake centres
Furthermore, most of the existing systems are being of the world. For these reasons, a well-designed, well-
continuously improved. Examples of existing BMSs structured and functional BMS is needed to keep bridges
include PONTIS in the USA (used in 40 out of the 52 well maintained and to provide public safety for the long
states) in addition to some of the BMSs developed by State term. For KYS, the focus of the initial development was the
DOTs (AASHTO, 2005; FHWA, 1993), OBMS in Ontario, database, modular structure and the essential BMS
Canada; Finnish-BMS (Soderqvist, 2004), DANBRO in functionalities. For this reason, currently, only the risk
Denmark (Bjerrum & Jensen, 2006), J-BMS (Kawamura, due to deterioration and damage is included in the BMS.
Miyamoto, & Ishida, 2008) and BMSs for prefectures in Seismic, hydraulic, strategic importance and structural
Japan (Furuta & Watanabe, 2010), T-BMS in Taiwan (Liao, capacity criteria are not yet incorporated into the system.
Yen, & Yau, 2008) and others. The BRIME study proposed However, they are planned as future implementations.
a framework for a European BMS (Woodward, 2001). Figure 1 displays the percentages of different bridge
Furthermore, considerable research has been made towards types in Turkey with a total of 23 bridge types. Reinforced
the improvements of existing BMSs in the USA within the concrete simple beam and prestressed simple beam
past two decades (Thompson & Johnson, 2005). bridges are the most common types encompassing 40%
Condition evaluation and damage categorisation is a and 30% of all bridges, respectively. As shown in Figure 2,
fundamental function of a BMS. In the USA, NBIS ages of these bridges as of 2014 range between 1 year and
(National Bridge Inspection Standards) coding guide more than 60 years, with very few built before 1950, and
4 F. Akgul
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Figure 1. Percentages of bridge types in Turkey.

27% built during the heavy investment period of 1950 using the so-called inventory cards (an index card system),
1970. After 1970, bridge construction followed a steady consisting of four cards per bridge. An inventory card
trend with percentages shown in Figure 2. consists of a handwritten data card and carefully hand-
drawn elevation, cross section and layout views of the
bridge. Although simple, these cards were highly practical
3.2. Bridge management practises in Turkey prior to KYS for record keeping and were easy to use. They contained
KGM was established in 1950 and the Division of Bridge crucial information about previous inspections and
Maintenance in 1964. The Bridge Inventory was first findings and were used for maintenance and repair
documented in the 1970s. Data were continually updated planning for over 40 years.

Figure 2. Number of bridges and years built in Turkey.

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 5

In the period 1995 1996, in response to a request from Figure 4. Design criteria can be separated into three highly
the Government of Turkey, Japan International interrelated groups: system and operational design criteria,
Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a study on the software design criteria and technical design criteria.
maintenance and rehabilitation of road bridges in Turkey. Development of the KYS not only involved the
JICA sent a study team to Turkey that conducted data development of software and technical functionalities,
collection, interviews with KGM, and bridge inspections but also the development of an inspection program and
and evaluations as a case study. A main report (JICA, publication of an extensive and illustrated bridge
1996), a representative inspection database, a visual inspection manual for KGM. BMS development encom-
inspection data sheet and a manual for bridge maintenance passes the establishment of a comprehensive inspection
were prepared at the end of the study. A Microsoft Access- and management system in an organisation rather than a
based inventory database was also developed for 200 sole software development. A BMS may have a few or all
bridges. However, since the database was mainly a bridge of the functionalities listed in Figure 4 depending on the
inventory on a desktop application, the bridge inspection bridge administrations needs.
results could not be consistently entered from the regional Modular structure of KYS is shown in Figure 5,
divisions, and as a result, KGM was unable to fully utilise consisting of six functional modules. Each module is made
and update the database in practise. up of separate screens (shown in Figure 5 as bulleted lists)
In 2005, KGMs Bridge Maintenance Department was and each screen consists of various pages under tabs (not
sufficiently convinced of the need for the development of a shown). The relationships among modules, screens and
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web-based BMS for the management of its bridge stock. tabs are displayed in Figure 6 which shows the layout of
As a result, KYS was developed in 2009 2013 period. The the Inventory Management Module. Definitions and
primary criterion was to develop a system that reflected the Reporting modules, which are the supporting modules
long-term practises, procedures and the needs of the bridge that are essential parts of any asset management software,
administration through the use of customised are not explained here. The strength and novel functions of
functionalities. the KYS are incorporated within the carefully designed
The traditional method for condition, quantity and cost Inventory Management, Inspection, Cost and Planning
evaluation for bridge damages at KGM is a report modules.
including the sections shown in Figure 3. After a listing of A unique feature of the KYS is that it is developed
basic bridge data (A), damage photographs of the bridge using a graphic design having the same standard layout in
are included from the latest inspection (B), followed by a almost every module and screen. As shown in Figure 6,
damage condition form (C). Based on the data in this form, each module listed in the leftmost column may have one or
a bridge assessment (D) is made and repair recommen- more screens embedded in it, and similarly, each screen
dations are listed (E). The itemised list of recommen- may have one or more tabs (pages). As shown in this
dations is then converted into an itemised repair cost figure, under each tab, a page is divided into two regions:
estimate (F). If the ratio of total repair cost to replacement Bridge Data Display Area and the Bridge Query List.
cost exceeds 60%, the bridge is replaced, otherwise When a bridge is selected from the list below, associated
repaired. The traditional process and the methods data are displayed in the upper data display region. This
displayed in Figure 3 were set as a requirement by the enables constant and easy access to the bridge inventory
KGM to be included in the newly developed BMS. As a database and the visibility of the selected data on the same
result, KYS diverged from being a traditional BMS, and it page consistently in all of the modules.
rather became a BMS with an engineering tool that can
perform detailed condition, quantity and cost estimation
for repairs at damage level. 4.1. Inventory management
A list of customised functionalities embedded in KYS KYS performs the inventory management through the
is presented in Table 1. The module where each module displayed in Figure 6, which consists of the
functionality is embedded is also listed. These function- screens listed in Figure 5. In Figure 6, a schematic layout
alities originated as a result of the needs and requirements view of the Bridge Query screen is displayed. In each of
of the bridge administration which resulted in novel KYS modules, adding, updating, querying or archiving a
implementations for the developed BMS. The functional- bridge can be achieved using the options listed at the upper
ities listed in Table 1 are explained in the following right side of the page as shown. Bridge Query screen
sections. consists of six pages (tabs) as shown at the top of Data
Display region. These include the: Bridge Inventory Data,
Members, Inventory Cards, Photographs, Plans &
4. Development of the KYS Drawings tabs and Attachments tab (containing any other
Development criteria and functionalities that can be necessary bridge files or images). Bridge Inventory Data
integrated into an ideal BMS design are displayed in page (Figure 6) is where the inventory data on a selected
6 F. Akgul
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Figure 3. Bridge evaluation at KGM prior to the development of KYS.

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 7

Table 1. Embedded customised functionalities in KYS.

Customised functionality Module

1 Inspection data entry capability at damage level Inspection
2 Importance and urgency definitions at damage level Inspection
3 Screen for recording NDT inspection results for each bridge Inspection
4 Platform for itemised unit cost breakdown capability Cost
5 Check mark-based decision-making and overwriting capability for optimisation results Planning optimisation
6 Markov process-based optimisation for damage repair activities Planning optimisation
7 Check mark-based decision-making and overwriting capability for prioritisation results Planning Prioritisation
8 Multi-criteria optimisation-based prioritisation at network level (for a bridge group) Planning prioritisation
9 Capability to choose from optimisation, rehabilitation or expert opinion-based costs for
prioritisation Planning prioritisation
10 Single page view of all inventory fields on the inventory management screen Inventory management
11 Capability for storing and displaying bridge damage photographs Inventory management
12 Capability for storing and displaying bridge inventory cards Inventory management
13 Capability for storing and displaying bridge plans and drawings Inventory management

bridge can be displayed. When a bridge is selected, Under the Inventory Cards page, automated access to
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inventory data for the bridge are displayed in 55 standard scanned images of four inventory cards per bridge is
data fields inside the Bridge Data Display Area as shown enabled. This feature allows easy access to practical
in Figure 6. long-term records on bridges and invaluable detailed

Figure 4. Development criteria and functionalities for a BMS design.

8 F. Akgul
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Figure 5. KYS screen names under each module.

hand drawings and dimensions collected over 40 years. KYS has 10 bridge groups as listed in Table 2 and
As part of the BMS development, descriptive photo- each bridge group contains a number of bridge types.
graphs of a representative pilot group of 200 bridges are Bridge element classification in KYS follows a three-
collected and entered under the Photographs page. level hierarchy, containing element main groups, element
Design plans (drawings) of these bridges are also groups and element types. The first two levels are
scanned and placed under the Plans & Drawings page presented in Table 3. The third level is not shown here
where they can be viewed without having to look at the due to limited space. Similarly, in Figure 7, the first level
actual hardcopies. is not shown for the same reason. KYS is designed in such
When the Members (Elements) tab is accessed, a list of a way that this hierarchy is visible in almost all screens
elements of the selected bridge is displayed. This is a where the bridge inventory is displayed as shown in
dynamic list that can expand or contract depending on the Figure 8, where a layout view of the inspection module is
type of the bridge. Prior to creating the Members page, an shown. A three-level coding scheme is developed to
extensive study was performed aimed at categorising all classify element types (e.g. 01.011.001 for Reinforced
possible element types that may exist on a given bridge Concrete Slab). All three levels of the classification are
type. This study resulted in a large matrix of bridge shown in Figure 8.
element types versus bridge types as shown in Figure 7. Under the inventory management module (Figure 6),
The matrix in Figure 7 is an enlarged view of a partial area any demolished bridge can be transferred into the Bridge
of the original matrix which is shown at the lower right Archive screen where a list of archived bridges is stored.
corner. Over the years, KGM had created a list of existing Route Control Cut Point is a km measure from the starting
bridge types in Turkey. This was more of a categorisation point of a road, which was used by KGM to locate and
based on bridge materials rather than a bridge classifi- identify bridges prior to development of a numbering
cation based on structural systems. Therefore, the existing system as part of this study. Under KYS, a grid system is
categorisation was combined with structural system established to number bridges based on the latitudes and
definitions to arrive at the bridge types listed in top row longitudes in Turkey with columns numbered on top and
in Figure 7. rows labelled on the left of Turkeys map (e.g. Bridge AH-
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 9
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Figure 6. Inventory management module (bridge query screen, bridge inventory data page).

18-1 shown in Figure 8). Once a bridge is maintained and Inspection Damage Data List. When the () sign at the left
repaired, its records are entered and stored in the Repair side of an element row is selected, a secondary list of all
Records screen (Figure 6). possible damage types associated with that element type is
displayed below this element. For instance, in Figure 8,
damage types of the reinforced concrete slab element type
4.2. Inspection management are listed, which include: Dents and Pits, Cracks, Exposed
Under the Inspection Module (Figure 8), four screens are Reinforcing, Delamination and Spalls, and Seepage
developed, which were listed in Figure 5. Figure 8 illustrates Damage. This methodology reflects and conforms to the
the Damage-Visual Inspection screen. The data obtained long-term practise of the bridge administration for bridge
from the visual inspection of a bridge are entered into this repair quantity and cost estimation at damage level
screen. Damage-Visual Inspection screen of KYS has a (Figure 3). Costs shown in Figure 8 and in the planning
unique and customised functionality. As shown in Figure 8, module views on the following pages are in TL (Turkish Lira,
for the selected bridge, all bridge elements are listed in Visual 1 USD 1.68 TL as of 2011).
10 F. Akgul
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Figure 7. Matrix of bridge element types versus bridge types.

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 11

Table 2. Bridge groups and number of bridge types in each Table 3. Element main groups and element groups in KYS.
group in KYS.
Element main group Group number Element groups
Number of bridge types in
Bridge groups each bridge group 01 Superstructure 001 Barrier
002 Sidewalk
Reinforced concrete girder bridges 12 003 Parapet
Reinforced concrete plate bridges 10 005 Wearing Surface
Balanced cantilever bridges 1 006 Insulation
Suspended cable bridges 2 007 Expansion Joint
Composite bridges 4 008 Drain Pipe
Steel bridges 5 009 Downspout Pipe
Concrete bridges 1 010 Median Barrier
Stone bridges 1 011 Deck
Ferbeton bridgesa 2 012 Girder
Mixed type bridge 1 013 Suspended Steel Cable
Total 39 014 Arch
015 Deck Joint
Ferbeton Bridge: bridge with composite R/C slab and embedded steel 016 Transverse Beam
017 Safety Mesh
018 Reinforced Concrete Flat
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Instead of entering percentages of damage condition 02 Substructure 001 Rocker Bearing
states for an element, which is the approach generally 002 Elastomeric Bearing
adopted, such as in PONTIS (AASHTO, 2005; FHWA, 003 Bearing Plate
004 Seismic Plate
1993), quantities of individual damage types can be 005 Steel Arch Column
entered separately in KYS. In element level bridge 006 Reinf. Conc. Arch
inspection, defining an elements condition state when it Column
has multiple damage types is not a clear task. For instance, 007 Reinf. Conc. Arch
the definitions in element level condition evaluation may Wall
008 Abutment
include two or more types of deterioration in the same 009 Middle Pier
condition state. This can make the condition reporting 010 Foundation
ambiguous. Defining possible maintenance actions based 011 Approach Elements
on element condition state percentages alone has this 012 Embankment
limitation. Damages on an element are defined and 03 Accessories 001 Lighting
002 Signage
percentages of the element in each condition state are 003 Utilities
determined based on definitions of each condition state. 004 Road Safety Elements
However, maintenance and repair actions are, in 005 Air Ducts in
reality, quantified based on damage types. This is the long- Underpasses
term practise used by the bridge administration. A bridge 006 Drainage and Pump
element may exhibit several different damage types. Each
damage type will have a quantity of its own. Cost estimate
for maintenance or repair for each damage type must be
based on this quantity estimate. Then, the cost of The element and damage type lists in Figure 8 are
maintenance or repair of the element can be obtained by dynamic lists that can expand or contract depending on
adding the cost estimates of all damage types existing on each elements damage types. When all of the elements are
that element. Condition evaluation and cost estimation for selected in Figure 8, secondary windows are displayed
the maintenance and repair actions at damage level, not at under all elements. This creates a long vertical set of
the element level, through expanding secondary windows windows; however, scrolling is quick due to a well-
are novel techniques developed in this study. designed software architecture. A view of the fully
KYS is designed in such a way that only the condition expanded screen is not shown here due to limited space.
states and associated quantities of the observed damage In order to display all possible damage types for all
types on an element are recorded. Based on condition state possible bridge element types, an extensive study was
distributions (percentages) of damage types, element performed aimed at categorising all possible damage types
condition state distribution and the element condition that may exist on a given bridge element type.
rating are automatically calculated. The scale of repair This study resulted in a large matrix of bridge element
activities described by this model produces a more realistic types versus damage types as shown in Figure 9. The
condition, quantity and cost estimate for repairs as matrix in Figure 9 is an enlarged view of a partial area of
compared to element-level condition evaluation. the original matrix which is shown at the lower right
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Figure 8. Inspection module (damage-visual inspection screen).

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 13
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Figure 9. Matrix of bridge element types versus damage types.

14 F. Akgul

corner. Bridge element types are listed in the leftmost i for condition state j, s total number of condition states,
column while damage types are listed in the top row. The d total number of damage types, rj a factor
matrix matches 128 bridge element types with 58 damage containing damage effect distribution coefficient, and CR
types. For a given bridge element type, damage types that (b)bridge,w weighted bridge rating for bridge b, where
may exist on such a bridge element type are indicated. b 1, . . . ,nb, nb total number of bridges and we
Approximately seven damage types listed in columns 5 element importance weight factor for element e.
through 11 (i.e. cracks, delamination and spalls, exposed Since this paper presents the overall design method-
reinforcing, dents and pits, water damage, deformation and ology and the functionalities of the developed BMS, for a
discolourisation) occur in almost all bridge element types. detailed description of the model for condition evaluation
Other damage types listed are specific to certain bridge based on damage effects, including the calculations and
element types and are scarcely spread over the range definitions of the weight factors (wpdt,i, j and rj) and the
beyond column 11. determination of element condition state distribution from
In addition to element types and damage types, the condition state distributions of its damage types, the
Figure 8 also shows KYS methodology for condition reader is referred to Akgul (2013). In addition to the
evaluation of damage and element types. For each damage weight factors for damage types, importance weight
type of each element type, percentages of that damage type factors for bridge elements are also developed. Element
in each condition state can be entered. Four condition importance weight factors in BMSs are generally assigned
states are defined for each damage type, detailed qualitatively based on structural importance. In this study,
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descriptions of which are listed in tables in 61 pages in for a typical reinforced concrete girder bridge having the
the bridge inspection manual developed as part of this elements displayed, the element importance weight factors
study. In addition to definitions of extent of a damage, two are assigned as shown in Figure 10.
weight factors, taking into account the maximum effect of The last screen under the Inspection Module
damage and distribution of damage (reflecting the (Figure 8) is the Damage-Equipment Inspection screen
importance and urgency of the damage type), are also listed under the inspection module menu. Under this
introduced. Based on these factors, element and bridge screen, a page is developed where the results of any
condition ratings are calculated using: equipment-based tests, such as NDT or core samples, can
be entered and stored. KYS is also capable of storing up
s Pd
i1 wpdt;i;j r j
to 25 inspection damage photographs and test records for
CReelement;w j Ps P d
; 1 a bridge in this page.
j1 n1 i1 wpdt;i;n r n

1 X ne
4.3. Cost management
CRbbridge;w we CReelement;w ; 2
100 e1 Cost Module, not displayed here due to limited space,
contains the six screens listed in Figure 5. Every year,
where CR(e)element,w weighted condition rating for KGM publishes unit costs for road and bridge construction
element e, where e 1, . . . , ne, ne total number of projects. KYS is developed with a detailed cost database,
elements, wpdt,i, j weighted percentage of damage type containing 1295 unit costs under 38 cost group categories,

Figure 10. Element importance weight factors for a typical reinforced concrete Girder bridge.
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 15

such as costs for labour, equipment, excavation, sitework,

concrete works, formwork, etc. The unique feature of
KYS cost module is that a platform is developed inside
the cost module in which an itemised unit cost breakdown
capability is built.
In cost module screen, two lists are displayed
simultaneously. In the aforementioned list, general
construction unit costs are listed. Below this list, M&R
unit costs specifically for bridges are listed, such as
replacement of a drain pipe, repair of a concrete surface,
repair of asphalt pavement, etc. Each M&R unit cost
is made up of an itemised list of construction unit
costs. The system is built such that when a construction
unit cost (such as a labour rate or a material cost) is
changed, M&R unit costs for bridges are automatically
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4.4. Planning
Under the Planning Module (Figure 11), two screens are
developed: Optimisation and Prioritisation and Planning.
Optimisation screen contains the Transition Probability
Matrices, Optimisation, List of Optimisation Bridges and
Optimisation Results tabs (pages). In Figure 11, the
Optimisation Results page is displayed. Optimisation
results for three bridges (O-38-1, AG-32-2 and R-20-1) are
displayed in Figure 11. Partial result for the fourth bridge
(O-10-1) is also shown.
In order to have efficient utilisation of the insufficient
maintenance budget, KGM required the development of an
alternative maintenance strategy, in which instead of
repairing all damages observed on all elements, partial
repairs on elements are performed. This would allow the
allocation of maintenance budget to more bridges instead
of performing complete repairs for less number of bridges.
A selection criterion would be to choose the repairs of
those damage types that minimised the expected average
long-term costs and caused the largest improvements.
To achieve this objective, optimisation of maintenance
activities is performed using Markov decision process.
The only way to combine the KGMs requirement to
include repair cost estimation at damage level and the
optimisation of M&R activities was to apply the
optimisation at damage level. Optimisation could offer
partial repairs for elements.
However, if the optimisation is reduced to damage
level, action space is reduced to only two actions: repair or
do not repair. Formulation of maintenance optimisation
using Markov chains given by Hillier and Lieberman
(1974) and Golabi and Shepard (1997) is adopted.
Representative transition probability matrices (TPMs)
are created for each damage type, based on deterioration
Figure 11. Planning module (optimisation screen, optimisation
models for different bridge elements and materials in the results page).
literature (Agrawal, Kawaguchi, & Chen, 2010) and the
expert opinions, which can be improved using accumulated
16 F. Akgul

statistical data. Since the objective of this paper was to

describe the overall design and modules of the developed
BMS, details of optimisation implementation and the
associated screens and pages (including the page where
TPMs are entered) are not presented here due to limited
space and the comprehensive nature of the subject;
however, they are planned to be reported separately.
Based on the results of the M&R optimisation, KYS
suggests M&R actions for each damage type of each
element. A unique feature of KYS is that the proposed
M&R actions are displayed using check marks in boxes as
shown in Figure 11. However, it is always possible to
exercise combined treatments by overwriting the optim-
isation results. Under each Condition State level column,
three columns are displayed for damage-level decision-
making (%, OR and EO columns). Percentage column
shows the condition state of the damage obtained from the
bridge inspection. Decisions made by the optimisation are
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displayed under the OR (Optimisation Result) column for

each condition state. Decisions that can be made by the
decision maker, which can overwrite the optimisation
results, are listed under EO (Expert Opinion) column. For
each bridge, a separate rehabilitation cost is also calculated
which is not displayed in this screen. Rehabilitation cost of
an element (or a bridge) is the overall cost of repairs if all
damage types on that element (or bridge) are to be
repaired. If there is enough maintenance budget available,
prioritisation of bridges can be performed based on the
Rehabilitation costs instead of OR or EO costs.
Prioritisation and Planning screen is shown in
Figure 12. The first five columns of the Prioritisation
List (7 through 11) list the basic bridge inventory data. For
any group of bridges that require maintenance, repair and
replacements, the maintenance and repair budget must be
allocated in an optimal manner. Since the total
maintenance and repair cost for a group of bridges should
not exceed an allocated budget, bridges should be
prioritised according to selected criteria. A formulation
of prioritisation as a stochastic multi-objective optimis-
ation problem, based on simultaneous satisfaction of
multiple conflicting objectives, is given by Lounis (2004).
The technique uses compromise programming based on
minimum Euclidean distance criterion for optimal ranking
of bridges. The criteria may involve the condition state of
the bridge, various variables affecting the deterioration of
the bridge, bridge maintenance and repair costs, etc.
Among these criteria, those that have the most effect on
bridge performance must be selected. For each bridge, the
multi-criteria optimality index is defined as (Lounis,

u q   !2
uX  yl;k 2 yk;* 
Ib t wk   ; 3 Figure 12. Planning module (prioritisation and planning
k1 yk; max 2 yk; min  screen).
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 17

where I(b) multi-criteria optimality index for bridge b, Since the structural load-carrying capacity criteria are not
where b 1, . . . , nb, nb total number of bridges, wk yet implemented into the system, the replacement decision
weight of the kth prioritisation criterion, where k 1, . . . ,q, proposed by KYS is only a recommendation. Once KYS
q total number of prioritisation criteria, yl,k kth proposes a replacement recommendation for a bridge, it is
criterions value for bridge l, yk,max maximum value of KGMs responsibility to verify that the structural capacity
the kth criterion, yk,min minimum value of the kth criteria will be met. If the repairs meet the structural
criterion, yk,* minimum or maximum value of the kth capacity criteria, then KGM can overwrite KYS replace-
criterion, depending on whether P the kth criterion is to be ment recommendation by unchecking the respective
minimised or maximised, and qk1 wk 1. decision box and choose to repair the bridge instead.
In KYS, multi-criteria index values, calculated using However, if the bridges repair cost is # 60% of the bridges
Equation (3) for each bridge, are used to prioritise bridges replacement cost, and if it is decided to spend this amount of
for allocation of available maintenance and repair budget money for repairs, it must be ensured that the repairs will
on an annual basis. Three criteria are selected for Equation increase the structural load-carrying capacity of the bridge
(3): Bridge Condition Rating (field 2 in top middle frame to $ 95% level. If these structural capacity criteria will not
in Figure 12), a Cost Type (field 3) and AADT (Average be met as a result of the repairs, then the repairs are not
Annual Daily Traffic value) (field 4). In Figure 12, Optimal applied, instead replacement option is selected.
M&R Cost (column 14), Expert Judgment Bridge M&R
Cost (column 15), Rehabilitation Cost (column 17),
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Replacement Cost (column 16) and I(b) value (column 18) 5. Conclusions and future work
for each bridge are also listed. The weights to be used for The overall design and customised functionalities of a
each of three criteria can be selected by the user in fields bridge management system (KYS), developed in Turkey
(2), (3), and (4). In Figure 12, each criterion is selected to in 2009 2013 period, are presented. The novel design
be equally weighted. The Cost Type to be used for features and functions customised for the bridge
prioritisation can be selected from the Selection of Cost administration are explained. Development of the web-
Type list box (field 1), which includes Optimal M&R Cost, based BMS included a detailed multi-layer cost database
Expert Judgment Bridge M&R Cost or Rehabilitation Cost with an itemised unit cost breakdown capability, inventory
options. In this example, Expert Judgment Bridge M&R management, cost and planning modules, a model for
Costs (column 15) are zero since no expert decisions are optimal allocation of maintenance-repair replacement
made to overwrite the recommended optimal decisions. (MR&R) budgets while producing repair cost estimates
KYS calculates a prioritisation ranking for each bridge at damage level, a network-level multi-criteria-based
based on the I(b) value, then orders the selected bridges prioritisation, a damage-level condition evaluation and
from minimum to maximum I(b) value. Following this rating model, 13 separate customised and novel function-
order, the program places a check mark for each bridge alities to meet the needs of the bridge administration and
(column 19) selected to be included in the MR&R the characteristics of the bridges in the country, and a
Available Budget (field 5) until this budget value, entered bridge inspection manual. Visual inspections for a pilot
by the user, is depleted. Total M&R Cost of the Selected bridge group of 200 bridges and NDT inspections of 10
Bridges is also listed (6). Based on this ranking, KYS bridges are also completed and the inspection results are
makes suggestions for bridge replacements if necessary. entered into the BMS.
If a bridge is to be replaced, a message is displayed under Prior to KYS, allocation of resources to bridge
the Suggestion column (column 21) and a check mark is maintenance in Turkey was driven by two factors. Either
placed under the Replacement Decision column (column the funds were allocated because they were divided
22). The user can overwrite the optimal (column 19) and evenly and fairly among regions or it was evident that a
replacement (column 22) decisions, if necessary, by bridge has become dangerous. This study has created a
clearing any check marks in these columns. In Figure 12, tool for the bridge administration that will allow damage
the replacement decision made for bridge Y-11-1 in row 8 and cost-based engineering assessment of priority.
reflects KGMs replacement criteria presented in Figure 3. Special attention is given to develop a complete and
Since 94% of bridges in Turkey are reinforced concrete functional inventory database. Prior to this study, a
type (Figure 1), KYS calculates the replacement cost comprehensive national computerised database of bridge
based on KGMs policy, which states that whenever a inventory in Turkey did not exist. The BMS also created a
bridge is demolished, it is replaced by a new prestressed platform into which the data from visual and NDT
concrete girder bridge. For a 12 m wide prestressed inspections can be entered.
concrete girder bridge, KYS finds the replacement cost by Unlike many of the existing BMSs, KYS is designed to
multiplying $16,500/m by the total bridge length. provide information for decisions needed to manage a
The 60% criteria implemented in KYS for bridge specific bridge at a greater detail including the damage
replacement decision is based only on the cost of repairs. level. To generate damage-level decision guidance, a
18 F. Akgul

database is developed with a greater level of detail on all of budgets for MR&R, an improvement to the program is
the bridges in the bridge network than does an element- expected to be implemented to extend the time horizon to a
level condition evaluation system. KYS is a BMS for number of years.
budgeting at network level, but it is also designed as an Revised version of the system is expected to generate
engineering tool to handle project-level (bridge, element plans for multiple years. However, for the first version of
and damage level) decisions and can produce detailed the system, it was sufficient for the bridge administration
condition, quantity and cost estimates for repairs at these to generate budget reports and priorities for the next
levels. In KYS, an attempt is made to handle network level planning year based on their traditional planning
multi-criteria prioritisation and the damage-level con- requirements. In addition to the developed M&R cost
dition, quantity, and cost estimation within the same BMS evaluation capabilities, costs and functionalities for
framework. It improves the current state of the practise, improvement actions (e.g. bridge widening and strength-
which considers the bridge element as the main unit for ening) are also needed. It is also necessary to include the
condition, quantity and cost estimation for repairs. following criteria within the implemented multi-objective
KYS is designed in such a way that only the condition prioritisation: seismic importance, hydraulic importance,
states and associated quantities of the observed damage strategic importance, structural capacity criteria, detour
types on an element are recorded. Based on condition state length and traffic disruption costs.
distributions (percentages) of damage types, element Each implementation requires considerable body of
condition state distribution and the element condition knowledge and is a study field on its own. Structural load
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rating are automatically calculated. The scale of repair rating values for bridges are not incorporated into KYS
activities described by this model produces a more realistic yet, since such a value is not calculated by the KGM. The
quantity and cost estimates for repairs as compared to the only data representing the structural capacity of a bridge is
element-level condition evaluation models. A novel the design truck load type stored in the inventory. This
feature of the developed system is that, for each element, aspect of the BMS is also planned to be improved in the
a dynamic list is developed that can expand or contract future. A connection between the KYS and the existing
depending on an elements damage types. To enable this GIS at KGM is already established. Another application
functionality, matrices containing definitions of bridge would be to incorporate the heavy load permit procedure
types versus element types and element types versus into the KYS so that a heavy truck route can be selected via
damage types are constructed and implemented in the BMS GIS connectivity. KYS is currently being used by
BMS. the bridge administration, and out of a total of 7514
Furthermore, a novel check mark-based interactive bridges in Turkey, in 2014, the damage-level inspection
decision-making capability is developed by which the user data of over 3000 bridges is entered into the inventory.
can overwrite the recommended optimal MR&R and Entry of bridge and inspection data for the remaining
replacement decisions in the same screen. For selection of bridge stock of the nation is expected to be completed in
repairs for damages, combined treatments can always be 2015.
exercised by overwriting the optimisation results in the
expert opinion column. It is also possible to select
Disclosure statement
rehabilitation option if there is adequate maintenance
budget to repair all damages of each bridge in a bridge No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author. The
opinions and conclusions presented in this paper are those of the
group. Bridge M&R projects are contracted out in groups writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring
of 20 30 bridges at a given time. Therefore, such project- agency.
level modifications of decisions can easily be made once
an optimisation and prioritisation is performed for a larger
bridge population. Funding
The objective was to design the BMS with fully BITAK (The Scientific and
The financial support provided by TU
functional modules so that any additional improvements, Technological Research Council of Turkey) through Project
such as additional indices or methods for bridge and 108G018 is gratefully acknowledged.
network level optimisation and prioritisation, can be
included in the future. Development of a BMS is a
continuing process necessitating constant improvement. References
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Structure and Infrastructure Engineering 19

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