Bridges and Roads Subject of Special Study

A three-year project to better assess the condition of roads and bridges has been completed.

Image of a bridge crossing water. Photo: Thinkstock

Photo: Thinkstock

“This project will make it easier for highway administrators to structure data obtained from measurements and create manageable information that is applicable for various purposes in highway administration”, says VTI Senior Research Leader Robert Karlsson, who is also the project coordinator.

The EU project Tomorrow’s Road Infrastructure Monitoring and Management (TRIMM) has worked to develop ways of measuring and describing the condition of roads and bridges. The project started on 1 December 2011 and concluded at the end of November 2014. The purpose of the project was to make maintenance planning more efficient and better grounded in actual conditions.

“Using data gathered when making these measurements, we can create new metrics that will make it easier to decide on the right actions at the right time”, said Karlsson.

TRIMM was initiated within the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) and is part of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. In the project, researchers from eleven countries studied bridge measurements, road measurements, and administrative systems.

“TRIMM is creating a better basis on which to make decisions about where and when road maintenance should be carried out. This saves money and also creates added value for society, primarily by enhancing reliability and function”.

Online monitoring
One area that the group has examined more closely is how to benefit from the data logged by individual vehicles.

“Previously, measuring methods were based on measurements made, in the best case, once a year. Using the sensors present in normal vehicles actually makes it possible to monitor the road system in real time”.

The improved information will be used to provide good service for road users and to enable highway administrators to make wise long-term decisions about optimizing their maintenance efforts.

The 15 partners who constitute the research group will now continue to work in their respective fields of specialization.

Visit website of the TRIMM Project

Text: Andreas Schander

Image of Robert Karlsson Contact:
Robert Karlsson
robert.karlsson@vti.se
VTI, Sweden
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