Bridge deck condition assessments in Indiana are primarily reliant on visual inspection. The condition of bridge decks, however, is highly dependent on deterioration under the surface, which includes the corrosion of steel reinforcement and concrete delamination. The implementation of reliable nondestructive testing (NDT) methods can provide information about such internal deterioration, but considering the multiple NDT methods currently available, guidance is needed to find the best approach for assessing bridge decks in the state’s bridge inventory. A research program was conducted to examine various NDT methods with the objective of recommending an effective NDT strategy for network-level and project-level bridge inspections in Indiana that will complement information from traditional bridge inspections and provide asset engineers with improved information for long-term programming decisions. For the study, several consultants used various NDT methods to inspect a set of bridge decks that represented a range of desired test variables. Based on the test results, it was determined that aerial infrared thermography (IRT) is a good network-level method that is capable of scanning a large number of bridges and providing an initial assessment of bridge deck conditions. If significant delamination activity is detected, then follow-up network-level scanning limited to the problematic bridge decks should be performed using vehicle-mounted IRT. For project-level scanning of individual bridge decks, impact echo was found to be reliable and repeatable. For bridges with high-traffic volume for which project-level scanning is needed, a pole-mounted IRT system was found to be effective for evaluating the deck condition.

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bridge deck, nondestructive testing, delamination, corrosion, condition assessment

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version