Simple Bridge Security Inspection

Download Final Report

CAIT project no.: 182 RU6553

Fiscal Year: 2005/2006

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Hani Nassif, Husam Najm, Layla Issa, Joe Davis

External Author(s): Edward S. Kondrath, NJDOT Project Manager

Sponsor(s): NJDOT, FHWA


Bridges are among the most visible targets for terrorists since their destruction will have an immediate as well as long-term economical and psychological impact on the nation. Enhancing bridge security is key to improving homeland security and it entails several steps including on-site assessment, analysis of different security components, and implementing some mitigation measures that will enhance bridge security. Current guidelines for bridge security assessment are insufficient. Several sessions were initiated by the FHWA, AASHTO, and ASCE to provide Federal and State Departments of Transportation (DOT’s) with general guidelines for safety and security assessment of bridges. Literature review of bridge security showed that there is a need to develop methods to identify critical bridges for security hazards and to provide engineering standards and guidelines for bridge security design to reduce their vulnerability to attacks.

In particular, there is a need to better understand structural response of key components of a bridge to mitigate collapse, loss of life, and disruption of traffic. A simple bridge security checklist was developed to provide on-site assessment of bridge security. The developed checklist was implemented on a Tablet PC and applied to various bridge case studies to assess their vulnerability and security risk.