Inspection of RC half-joint bridges in England: Analysis of current practice
The strategic road network (SRN) in England carries 33% of traffic in England and Highways England's bridge management systems plays a crucial role in the maintenance of infrastructure assets along the SRN. Reinforced concrete half-joint structures are susceptible to deterioration and hard to inspect, hence they require special attention. Inspection data relating to half-joint structures on the SRN was gathered. Within this portfolio, 252 structures with half-joint-related defects were interrogated to classify the most common defects and identify any potential shortcomings in current inspection practice. Clear correlations were shown to exist between defect classes, emphasising the need for quality control and proper workmanship. A revised inspection methodology for half-joint structures that provides more comprehensive information about crack details, and a greater alignment between defect information and indicators of structural measures, is proposed. Concurrently, knowledge of the zonal crack location, crack orientation and crack severity helps inform decision making about the structural condition. There is scope for use of the methodology in conjunction with automated processing procedures to identify half-joint structures with particular defect characteristics and profiles. In this way, asset managers will be better able to allocate resources to structures with an increased risk of failure.