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Evaluation of the consistency of bridge inspection quality in New York State

Abstract

As per New York State’s Uniform Code of Bridge Inspection, all bridges in New York State are inspected biennially, or more often as necessary. Bridge inspectors are required to assign a condition rating for up to 47 structural elements of each bridge, including 25 components of each span of a bridge, in addition to the general components common to all bridges based on visual inspection. The reliability of bridge inspection ratings depends on the quality of inspection data taken during the inspections, such as photographs, notes, etc. To evaluate the consistency of the bridge inspection quality, sufficient inspection data have been obtained from four selected bridges by 21 inspection teams. A qualitative evaluation of all inspection reports has been carried out to analyze the consistency of report items, such as notes, paragraphs, and detection of damages. The results of this analysis indicate that the current quality control procedures being used to review reports for submission allow variation in the content of the reports, where inconsistencies and omissions of some reporting items still exist. However, the overall quality of report items, such as notes, photographs, etc., was found to be very high for the New York State’s bridge inspection program.

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded in part through grant(s) from the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation, under the State Planning and Research Program, Section 505 of Title 23, U.S. Code. The contents of this study do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the United States Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration or the New York State Department of Transportation. This study does not constitute a standard, specification, regulation, product endorsement, or an endorsement of manufacturers.

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Correspondence to Ran Cao.

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Appendices

Appendix A

See Table

Table 15 Optional quality control checklist for inspection quality assessment

15.

Appendix B

Figure 

Fig. 14
figure14

Average team consistency of inspection teams based on the inspection of 4 bridges

14 shows the average consistency of ratings for the four bridges for each team. The minimum values of team consistency were approximately 95, 90, 94, and 93%, respectively. Overall, the average team consistency for 21 inspection teams was approximately 98%. More detailed information about this work can be found in Agrawal et al. [1]. It should be noted that all Team Leaders in New York State are required to have Professional Engineering License and 3 years of bridge inspection related experience.

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Agrawal, A.K., Washer, G., Alampalli, S. et al. Evaluation of the consistency of bridge inspection quality in New York State. J Civil Struct Health Monit 11, 1393–1413 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13349-021-00517-5

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Keywords

  • Bridge inspection
  • Consistency
  • Inspection quality