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Mid-America Transportation Center

Infrastructure Inspection During and After Unexpected Events – Phase III


University of Iowa

Principal Investigator
Salam Rahmatalla
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided
USDOT: $77,895
Additional Funding: $77,895
Total Project Cost
$ 155,790
Agency ID or Contract Number
Start Date
End Date
Brief Description of Research Project
During and after natural disasters, cities experience chaos when emergency responders have difficulty localizing and quantifying the intensity of damage to civil infrastructures and estimating the loading capacity of bridges at a time when citizens’ safety and wellbeing are in danger. A physical model of a scaled highway bridge, a damage-detection methodology, and a finite element model-updating scheme were developed in previous work. The objective of this proposed work is to integrate previously developed finite element model-updating and damage-detection schemes to develop a new methodology that quantifies/predicts the loading capacity of bridges during and after extreme natural events such as river flooding and ground movements. The research for developing the bridge loading capacity predictor (BLCP) methodology comprises the following steps: (A) integrating the previously developed model-updating and health-monitoring schemes into one module, (B) testing the integrated module using numerical simulation, (C) testing the integrated module using experimentation, (D) enhancing the integrated module to develop the BLCP, (E) testing the BLCP using static and moving loads, and (F) writing a final report. The long-term goal of this project is to integrate realtime damage-detection methodologies with computer finite element modeling and updating, data management, data visualization, and weather forecasting software to manage and determine the loading capacity and suitability of highway systems for the transportation of critical and hazardous materials during and after an extreme weather event.
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