Introduction

Authored by: Mohammed M. Ettouney , Sreenivas Alampalli

Infrastructure Health in Civil Engineering

Print publication date:  September  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780849320408
eBook ISBN: 9781420003758
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b11174-2

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Abstract

President Obama in his inaugural speech on January 20, 2009 said, “We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together” (NRP 2011). This was an acknowledgment of the importance of the role of infrastructure in modern societies. It is a multifaceted role, including commerce, communication, mobility, recreation, and comfort. We observe that there is a need to change conventional approach to infrastructure. As modern societies evolved in the past century, challenges to infrastructure stakeholders evolved, and many new challenges are emerging. Some of these challenges are increased costs , changing social expectations and demands, advent of many modern hazards, and the increased complexities of infrastructure. Take, for example, the bridge infrastructure sector. There are suspension bridges (Figures 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3) that offer grace and functionality, yet they are extremely complex constructs. Arch and truss bridges (Figures 1.4 and 1.5) and conventional multigirder, multispan bridges (Figures 1.6 and 1.7), still present immense complexities and demands. Single-span bridges (Figure 1.8) need considerable attention from bridge managers because of the potential consequences that might occur if they are damaged. Finally, historical bridges (Figure 1.9) need attention and preservation because of their function and their historic nature.

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