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Evaluating bridges more effectively

Civil engineering Professor Nur Yazdani is working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on a new approach for assessing the actual strength and remaining life of bridges, determining bridge ratings, and prioritizing whether they should be strengthened or replaced as needed.

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His method combines nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques—including ground-penetrating radar, thermal imaging, impact echo, and ultrasonic tomography—computer modeling, and full-scale load testing. One benefit of this approach is that it does not require roads to be closed for long periods of time.

“We have the equipment, manpower, and know-how to perform NDE, modeling, and load testing, and we can use all of that data to determine the true condition of the bridge,” Dr. Yazdani says. “We can also test repair options on the computer and provide cost-benefit information that will allow TxDOT to make the best decisions.”

“Dr. Yazdani’s adroitness in NDE research has brought a new dimension in health evaluation of our nation’s infrastructure,” says Ali Abolmaali, chair of the Civil Engineering Department.

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