Strategic Planning for the National Bridge Stock of Iran

Document Type : Research Papers


1 MSc Student, School of Civil Engineering, University College of Engineering, University of Tehran

2 Assisstant professor, School of Civil Engineering, University College of Engineering, University of Tehran


The National Bridge Stock of Iran consists of about 330,000 bridges, of which around 50% are older than 30 years. Since 2010, Iran Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization has started implementing a comprehensive Bridge Management System in order to manage this aged stock efficiently. To predict future conditions of bridge stock, a heuristic numerical method is presented. This methodology is based on Markovian process to model deterioration of bridge decks and a multi-objective optimization problem to find the best solutions. The optimization problem involves three decision variables regarding management strategies, and has three objectives regarding cost minimization. Constraints of the problem are the percentage of deficient bridges, the percentage of bridges under MR&Rs (Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation) and the average value of condition scores. The results show that to avoid future challenges, the annual budget for bridge maintenance should be increased, the current maintenance strategy should be improved as soon as possible, and national manuals and instructions for inspection, condition rating and maintenance should be developed.


AASHTO. (2001). Guideline for bridge management systems, American Association of State highway and Transportation Official (AASHTO), Washington, D.C.
Agrawal, A.K., Kawaguchi, A. and Chen, Z. (2010). "Deterioration rates of typical bridge elements in New York", Journal of Bridge Engineering, 15(4), 419-429.
CBI. (2012). "Report of exchange rate from central bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran", Retrived 10/18/2012, from
Cesare, M.A., Santamarina, C., Turkstra, C. and Vanmarcke, E.H. (1992). "Modeling bridge deterioration with Markov chains", Journal of Transportation Engineering, 118(6), 820-833.
Elbehairy, H. (2007). "Bridge management system with integrated life cycle cost optimization", Ph.D. Thesis, University of Waterloo, Canada.
Frangopol, D.M., Kong, J.S. and Gharaibeh, E.S. (2001). "Reliability-based life-cycle management of highway bridges", Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 15(1), 27-34.
Haardt, P. and Holst, R. (2008). "The German Approach to Bridge Management: Current Status and Future Development", Proc., Tenth International Conference on Bridge and Structure Management, Buffalo, New York, October, 20–22.
IRMTO. (2010a). Iran road maintenance & transportation organization, Statistics provided by the Office of highway infrastructure, Maintenance Deputy.
IRMTO. (2010b). "Statistics available at Iran road maintenance & transportation organization", Retrived 11/23/2010, from  
Konak, A., Coit, D.W. and Smith, A.E. (2006). "Multi-objective optimization using genetic algorithms: A tutorial", Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 91(9), 992-1007.
Lounis, Z. (2000). "Consortium to address maintenance decisions for concrete bridges", Construction Innovation, 5(1), 9, Retrived10/18/2012, from
Lounis, Z. and Vanier, D.J. (1998). "Optimization of bridge maintenance management using Markovian models", Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0R6, Retrived 10/18/2012, from
Marler, R.T. and Arora, J.S. (2004) "Survey of multi-objective optimization methods for engineering", Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 26(6), 369-395.
Morcous, G. (2006). "Performance prediction of bridge deck systems using Markov chains", Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 20(2), 146-155.
Morcous, G. and Lounis, Z. (2005). "Maintenance optimization of infrastructure networks using genetic algorithms", Automation in Construction, 14(1), 129-142.
Morcous, G., Lounis, Z. and Mirza, M.S. (2003). "Identification of environmental categories for Markovian deterioration models of bridge decks", Journal of Bridge Engineering, 8(6), 353-361.
Neves, L.C. and Frangopol, D.M. (2005). "Condition, safety and cost profiles for deteriorating structures with emphasis on bridges", Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 89(2), 185-198.
President Deputy for Strategic Planning and Control (PDSPC). (2007). "Inventory Specifications of Bridges (in Persian)", Publication No. 367.
USDOT. (1999). "1999 status of the nation’s highways, bridges, and transit: Conditions & performance", Report from United States Department of Transportation to Congress.
USDOT. (2008) "2008 Status of the nation’s highways, bridges, and transit: Conditions & performance", Report from United States Department of Transportation to Congress.
Van Noortwijk, J.M. and Klatter, H.E. (2004). "The use of lifetime distributions in bridge maintenance and replacement modelling", Computers and Structures, 82(13-14), 1091-1099.
Zambre, N.M. (2004). "Degradation rate modeling of Ohio state bridges", M.S. Thesis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the College of Engineering, University of Pune, USA.