Bridge Asset Management group completes manual on evaluation
of structures

The department's Bridge Asset Management (BAM) group recently completed a comprehensive manual to document what they do and how they do it.

It was the perfect convergence of need and opportunity – the need came from entities, particularly FHWA, requesting the document. The opportunity came thanks to some new staff members with time to compile the manual.

The new Idaho Manual for Bridge Evaluation became available Jan. 1.

"Historically we'd never documented what we do and how we do it in a manual," said Kathleen Slinger, BAM engineer. "We were a small group, worked closely together and couldn't really find the time to write a manual." 

The publication is a collaboration of the business practices of the group. It is available externally on the Division of Highways' manuals page link, and on the Bridge page with the following link:
Slinger explained that with the realignment a couple of years ago, her staff grew. "New people were added to the group who had little knowledge of all of the tasks we performed; but now we had adequate staff to tackle the manual." 

Although the expanded staff gave her the opportunity to do the project, Slinger said the entire staff contributed to the final product. 
The booklet is patterned after AASHTO's Manual for Bridge Evaluation, which is the national collaboration of best practices for bridge management, Slinger said. 
"The manual is a work in progress," she explained. "We already have a section on management of Idaho's scour-critical bridges written that didn't quite make the first edition."
Editor Jake Legler, new to Bridge Asset Management, said he learned a lot during the two years it took to complete it. Inspections and load ratings are specifically addressed. He said the group plans on collecting additions, editorial changes and corrections throughout the year and publishing new editions annually. 
"The new manual is simply incredible," said Dave Jones, new ITD administrator for the Division of Engineering Products and Plans. "Kathleen and her crew have done an outstanding job on it."

Published 1-31-14