Bridge Life Cycle Cost Optimization: Analysis, Evaluation, & Implementation

Decisions related to implementation of a bridge design proposal generally require that several alternatives be considered. Many factors contribute to an agency’s decision to select a particular proposal. Although the initial project costs may dominate this decision, initial agency costs, however, tell only a part of the story.

Currently, almost only functional performance and conventional financial costing guides the design of a new bridge. A new life cycle framework to integrate all bridge life cycle considerations like the aesthetical and cultural value, and the environmental impact with the economic issues become very essential for achieving sustainable infrastructure.

This research study demonstrates a unique methodology and present a new systematic way for analysis, evaluation, and optimization of the bridge life cycle indicators. This study is presenting a unique flexible system, integrating all of bridge life cycle issues, and making them measurable and comparable like the bridge initial cost.

One of the main aims of bridge projects is to preserve the harmony of the scenery and the surrounding context. Aesthetics is not something that can be added on at the end. For aesthetics to be successful, it must first be considered as an integral part of the design. Basic bridge aesthetics design guidelines were proposed, which intended to set down considerations and principles, which help in eliminating the worst aspects of bridge design and encourage the best.

Based on this unique evaluation system, two computer programs were developed to facilitate the usage, one for calculating the bridge user cost and one to evaluate the bridge aesthetical and cultural value. The application of this integrated model to bridge design highlighted a critical importance of using the life cycle modeling in order to enhance the sustainability of bridge infrastructure systems.
Source: KTH
Author: Abed El-Fattah Safi, Mohammed

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