U.S. Highway Agency Awards Field Data Contract for Bridges

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) (Washington, DC, USA) has awarded HDR/AVS Group—a joint venture of HDR Engineering, Inc. (HDR) (Omaha, Nebraska, USA) and Alta Vista Solutions (Richmond, California, USA)—a five-year, $50-million contract to provide technical services and research support for the FHWA’s long-term bridge performance program.

In what is anticipated to be a 20-year research program, field data is being collected across the United States to better understand bridge performance and improve deterioration prediction models and capital expenditure decisions.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Alta Vista and a very forward-thinking initiative launched by the FHWA,” says CEO Paul Bews. We are excited to put our expertise in structural health monitoring, data collection, and robotic technology to work on this landmark project to improve maintenance of the nation’s bridges.

The team will be responsible for field data collection using a combination of the FHWA’s robotics-assisted bridge inspection tool (RABIT), modern non-destructive evaluation and testing techniques, and traditional bridge inspection methods.

HDR’s Duncan Paterson will serve as project manager, while Alta Vista’s Mazen Wahbeh will work as principal investigator.

“This extensive, dedicated program focused on providing high-quality performance data will help create new ways of thinking about how we evaluate our nation’s bridges and apply that information to reduce long-term asset life-cycle costs,” Paterson says. “Our HDR-AVS team’s work will be key to extending our knowledge of how we design, evaluate, and ultimately extend the life of our nation’s infrastructure.”

The contract builds on each company’s experience with bridges. HDR’s work on large, complex bridge programs includes general engineering consultant for SR 520 near Seattle, Washington, known as the world’s longest floating bridge. Meanwhile, Alta Vista’s experience with bridge systems inspection and performance analysis includes a 10-year involvement providing engineering and source inspection on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California.

Alta Vista is responsible for developing a preventive and reliable fatigue assessment tool that will be applied to improve lifespan and maintenance in aging steel bridges.

 “This program is bringing us to a new level in data collection and analysis,” Wahbeh says. “It aligns with our commitment to integrate aerial and ground-based sensor platforms into our infrastructure inspection programs. We look forward to working with HDR to optimize future funding, life extension, and maintenance interventions on our bridges.”

Source: Alta Vista Solutions, www.altavistasolutions.com