Bridge Management

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Bridge Management


The management of bridges is a fascinating and challenging subject. It may
well be that in the early days of bridge construction when masonry was the
prime construction material and the arch was the predominant structural
form, very little thought, if any, was given for ensuring the longevity of
a bridge. Certainly with masonry the general view was that it was virtually
imperishable and – barring an act of God – would last forever. Sadly, we have
learnt by bitter experience that no bridge will last forever and that proper
management contains elements of both a preventive and curative nature to
ensure that a bridge will perform properly over its 120-year nominal life and
beyond.
But what are the management tasks and where does one find information
on them? When I first came to write this book the tasks were broadly categorised
as inspection, assessment and repair, and the information was to be
found in conference proceedings; seminar papers; symposia; Highways
Agency advice and design notes; British Standards; articles in professional
magazines; text books; research papers; newspapers and in the minds of
individuals working within the bridge fraternity worldwide. There was clearly
the need to provide some sort of comprehensive reference work that would in
essence bring together all of the tasks encountered in the management
process. A definitive work was out of the question – that would require many
tomes and take a decade to write – but I thought it was possible to produce, if
you like, a guide book which could be of use both to beginners and seasoned
professionals alike.

Bridge Management is the result. It has proven to be a challenging yet
rewarding task and resulted in many a sleepless night and the looking up of
hundreds of references. There is no doubt that many readers will have wished
for either more information on a particular topic or another topic itself, but I
have had to draw the line somewhere, and, as it is, the publishers have
allowed me to extend the number of words and chapters to what I now think
is a useful and manageable volume.

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