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Bridge decks, reliability, service life, bridge maintenance, durability, survival analysis


The use of deicing salts in northern regions of the United States is a major contributor to the long-term deterioration of bridge decks. In this study, the 2008 U.S. National Bridge Inventory (NBI) records were used to develop survival models for non-reconstructed bridge decks in six northern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The hypertabastic accelerated failure model was used to develop survival (reliability) and hazard (failure rate) functions for all six states. The NBI parameters included were the deck rating, type of superstructure (concrete or steel), deck surface area, age, and average daily traffic (ADT). A recorded NBI deck rating of 5 was considered to be the end of service life. Results show that ADT and deck surface area are both important factors affecting reliability and failure rates in all six states studied. In general, deck reliability and failure rates correspond reasonably well with qualitative measure of the harshness of each state’s winters. The type of superstructure has a varied influence in different states. It is recommended that deck area and ADT be considered as important factors when planning maintenance operations.