Bridge Maintenance

RK Dhiman, VSM, Director (Works & Budget), HQ DGBR New Delhi

Bridge maintenance is necessary to keep all bridges traffic worthy. Immediately on completion of a bridge there is a need to keep observation on its behaviour under various conditions Distress if any observed need to be attended without any delay. There are cases where lack of maintenance and slackness to attend the same may require huge financial exchequer for rehabilitation at a later date. Lack of regular maintenance of bridges not only affects the traffic flow over a particular road but also reflects the image of the organization involved in its construction and maintenance. Regular and timely maintenance of bridges enhance its serviceability whereas poor maintenance leads to sudden collapse of bridge at few occasions. Bridge Health Management has been discussed in this paper.


Bridges are very important structures on any highway system. Once a permanent bridge is constructed, it cannot be considered as maintenance free. There are many bridges which are in distress, in early service life. Since the bridges are an important link, there is a need to keep a reliable and latest technology based system to ensure better health of a bridge in order to ensure reliable connectivity to the area. Inspection of bridges and regular data observations are useful for upkeeping and monitoring in the long run. Bridge Health Management covering important aspects based on practical considerations and keeping codal points in view are discussed in this paper.

Structural Arrangement of Bridges

Bridges comprise of different structural arrangements to transfer the load from superstructure to foundation. This is based on the type of structural arrangement being adopted and type of bridges being made viz simply supported, canti-lever bridges, balance canti-lever. Steel bridges of similar span arrangement & cable stayed bridges. Their parts are foundation, substructure, bearing, superstructure, expansion joints and other appurtenances to provide smooth functional behaviour of the bridges. Maintenance of each part of the bridge have an important role in the overall safety and serviceability. Overall behaviour of the bridge, and individual items of a bridge need to be monitored and maintained on a designed format finalized by respective authority. Preventive and curative measures for safety and durability of a bridge can be finalized on observations of distress if any on different parts of the bridge be recorded on a regular basis.

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