The System of Unified Diagnostics and Standard Maintenance of Bridges and Infrastructures
In the sector of structural concrete constructions, these themes have been the subject of systematisation by the European Beton Committee, stimulated by the widespread state of deterioration of structures in Europe after the Second World War, especially bridges and parking lots. Testimony to the condition of deterioration of these structures can be found in the acts of international congresses: in 1975, the “Colloquium Inter Association IABSE–FIP–CEB–RILEM–IASS Behaviour in Service of Concrete Structures” held in Liegi; in 1980, one of the themes of the “1st International Congress of the Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)” held in Vienna was “Lessons from the Behaviour of Structures”; in 1988, one of the themes of the 13th IABSE Congress, held in Helsinki, examined “Inspection, Assessment and Maintenance”; in 1992, one of the themes of the 14th IABSE Congress, held in New Delhi, concerned “Bridge Management Systems”. One of the contributions to this theme, “A Decision System for Bridge Management”, by J. De Brito and F. A. Branco, of the Technical University of Lisbon, confirms the high percentage of deterioration observed in reinforced concrete and pre-compressed reinforced concrete bridges, in recent decades, proposing a decision-making system based on the data collected from three levels of inspection: current inspection, based almost exclusively on visual observation, detailed inspection, integrated by non-destructive on-site tests, and ascertainment of the structural conditions of the works. These analyses proved to be the elements in determining an index of evaluation, used to decide upon any corrective intervention within the ambit of maintenance procedures and, if necessary, to make repairs or provide for reinforcement.