University of Twente Student Theses


To replace or not to replace : developing a model for bridges’ future function al performance level

Mooren, S.C.A. (2022) To replace or not to replace : developing a model for bridges’ future function al performance level.

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Abstract:The car is the main mode of transport in the Netherlands. The Dutch automobile network is among the best in the world. Many bridges and viaducts that are part of this network were built in the 1960s. With an average lifespan of 80 years, many bridges and viaducts are reaching their end-of-life in the near future. As a result of societal changes, bridges are expected to fulfil function (at a certain level) unaccounted for at the time of construction. When a bridge/viaduct no longer adequately meets certain functional requirements related to the primary function, it can results in the functional end-of-life. At Rijkswaterstaat, the asset management agency of national roads in the Netherlands, the focus is on technical and economic end-of-life. Functional end-of-life is a concept in development. The objective of this study was to support decisions on the replacement of infrastructure assets by developing a model that provides insight into the development of functional performance of bridges and viaducts as part of a network over time. To this end, the research question is as follows: How does functional performance of bridges and viaducts as part of a network develop over time (1) and how can these insights contribute to infrastructure asset management decision making (2)? A design research approach was adopted. Input for the model design came from expert interviews, previously conducted research at Rijkswaterstaat, internal documents, guidelines and legal documentation. The model developed in this study builds upon an existing traffic model (Asgarpour et al., 2022), from now on referred to as base model. The base model has been developed on the python-based platform MoViCI, which stands for and is used for modelling and visualising critical infrastructure. The base model contains traffic intensities of the national road network in the Randstad area in the Netherlands. The model ranges from 2019 to 2050, and 4 different scenarios have been simulated to consider alternative futures. First, the functional performance indicators to include in the model had to be established. In the end, I/C capacity is the main indicator, where an I/C ratio 0.8 is treated as desirable. Additionally, traffic safety is included in the model for two indicators: automatic incident detection and lighting, using the following scale: red, orange, green, N/A. Lastly, the noise level (dB) at the nearest reference point is included in the model. Subsequently, the bridges and viaducts coming from the Rijkswaterstaat database DISK have been linked to the road network so that attributes evaluated per road segment could be published to the bridges. After running the simulations, the outcomes can be stored in 4-dimensional data cubes (Bridges, Indicators, Time, Scenarios). In MoViCI, asset managers can geographically see the functional performance of the previously described indicators, dynamically over time (Figure 1). Individual bridges can be selected to see the exact values from the simulation as well. Moreover, in post processing, individual bridges and indicators can be selected for a more detailed progression of the performance level per scenario over time. Alternatively, a series of bridges can be compared so asset managers get a clear overview when each bridge reaches a critical value. This way, technical end-of-life can be compared with the functional end-of-life for a series of bridges. The data and visualisations give asset managers a better grip on managing the bridges and viaducts, and it contributes in programming interventions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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