Title Quality specifications for Roadway Bridges. Standardization at a European level
Acronym BridgeSpec
Reference COST-TU-1406
Partners 36 COST countries
Project Leader Chair: Jose Matos (University of Minho). Vice-Chair: Joan Ramon Casas
Contractor European Union
Plan COST Association
Program H2020
Initial date 01/05/2015
Final date 31/04/2019
Fundings 680.000,00 €
Professor in charge Joan Ramon Casas

During implementation of asset management strategies, maintenance actions are required in order to keep assets at desired performance levels. In case of roadway bridges, specific performance indicators are established for their components and compared with performance goals in order to evaluate if quality control plans are accomplished. In Europe there is a large disparity regarding the way these indicators are quantified and how such goals are specified. Therefore, due to the considerable number of methodologies, arises COST Action “TU1406: Quality specifications for roadway bridges, standardization at a European level (BridgeSpec)” which aims to bring together, for the first time, both research and practicing community in order to accelerate the establishment of a European guideline in this subject. Roadway bridges are considered to be, in terms of maintenance, one of the most critical components of road infrastructures. Though they belong to the domain of public service, their management mechanism can be conducted by the state or under a private public-partnership model. In both cases, a QC plan, which compares, for each performance indicator, the assessed value with a pre-specified goal, should be accomplished. However, it is verified that those plans vary from country to country and, in some occasions, within the same country. This is a huge problem, as large variation in the quality of roadway bridges is verified. Therefore, this Action aims to achieve the European economic and societal needs by standardizing the condition assessment and maintenance level of roadway bridges. Moreover, it will be important to address, in such plans, new indicators related to sustainable performance. This constitutes a scientific advance as, actually, QC plans do not consider them. In order to establish a standardization procedure for the assessment of performance indicators, namely, those that should be considered in a QC plan, as well as to define the performance goals, a network of experts is needed. Such network should incorporate people from different stakeholders (e.g. universities, institutes, operators, consultants and owners) and from various scientific disciplines (e.g. on-site testing, visual inspection, structural engineering, sustainability, etc.). To summarize, there is a real problem which is the non-uniform way QC is actually developed for roadway bridges. This is surpassed by establishing a guideline for the establishment of QC plans in roadway bridges, which constitutes the main outcome of this Action. Such guideline will comprise specific recommendations for assessing performance indicators as well as for the definition of performance goals. COST is considered to be the most suitable means to achieve this outcome, namely, through the support given to the networking of experts from different stakeholders and research fields. More information available at: