Consistency of the New York State bridge inspection program.
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Consistency of the New York State bridge inspection program.

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  • Abstract:
    The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) maintains an inventory of over 17,000 highway

    bridges across the state. As per New York State’s Uniform Code of Bridge Inspections, 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 of these elements. The bridge

    condition rating scale ranges from 7 to 1, 7 being new and 1 being in failed condition. In addition to this, ratings 8

    and 9 are assigned to cases “not applicable” and “condition and/or existence unknown”. The objectives of this

    research have been to (1) conduct a detailed evaluation of the consistency of inspection ratings, and (2) provide

    recommendations for improvements to bridge inspection procedures and training to improve consistency, whenever

    possible. A broader outcome of the research has been the development of knowledgebase on factors affecting

    consistency of bridge ratings. These research objectives have been achieved through a detailed and comprehensive

    literature review on inspection practices and the NYSDOT bridge inspection program and, development and

    evaluation of consistency of the bridge inspection ratings through the inspection of 4 selected bridges by 21

    inspection teams. Numbers of bridges and inspection teams have been selected to generate statistically sufficient

    data for the evaluation of consistency of inspection of different bridge elements. A detailed and quantitative

    evaluation of consistency of inspection ratings of different bridge elements has been carried out through the analysis

    of inspection data. Results show that the overall consistency of ratings of different elements is more than 90%.

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