The aim of the PITA project is to develop a novel integrated framework using structural health monitoring and reliability technologies for improved bridge management under uncertainty. Through the use of new technologies and the employment of structural health monitoring and reliability approaches, the project is expected to have significant impact on bridge lifetime management practices.
Currently, decisions for bridge management are based on visual inspections and engineering heuristics. However, it is difficult to establish the relation between such visible signs of damage and the corresponding bridge condition. Structural health monitoring can provide accurate information on structural resistance and load effects and detect the appearance of damages, which are essential for safety and serviceability decision making. The PITA project has three phases. The first part is to study the feasibility to develop the novel framework for improved bridge management under uncertainty using structural health monitoring and reliability technologies. The second phase deals with implementation of the study using realistic bridge examples. The third phase is about bridge performance prediction and optimum monitoring planning. The proposed framework can serve not only for a particular structure, but also for a network of bridges. The research is conducted under the sponsorship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development, through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) with Dr. Dan M. Frangopol as the Principal Investigator.