National heavy vehicle bridge assessment system a step closer

A scoping study assessing the feasibility of developing a National Heavy Vehicle Bridge Assessment System has been published by Austroads.

Bridge assessment processes are a major constraint in delivering reliable and timely heavy vehicle access to the national road network, according to Austroads.

The large range of vehicle types and masses on an equally diverse range of bridge types and sizes requires detailed engineering analysis that can be costly, time consuming and hindered by inadequate data.

The study envisions an assessment system that would:

  • automate and compare calculated infrastructure impacts caused by loading from a nominated vehicle with the known capacity of the structure, recorded against all the structures in the database; 
  • be capable of plotting bespoke networks for a given vehicle in real-time or near real-time; and
  • access national data for bridge structures.

Austroads plans to launch a detailed evaluation of options (in line with the study’s recommendations) as part of its upcoming project NEF6274.