Engineers who hold responsibility for managing bridges face a daunting task because of the large number of bridges which need work and the limited funds with which to accomplish the work. Bridge management software, such as Pontis, provides a way to manage the large quantity of data available to the engineer. This report outlines the capabilities of Pontis to assist the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in their bridge management work. Currently, ITD uses only the inventory and inspection management capabilities of Pontis. In the future, ITD is planning to expand their use of Pontis at the Needs Analysis or Project Planning levels. The required input data is summarized, with the element unit costs and failure costs examined in detail.
Element unit costs developed for Idaho were similar to the default values from California, and resulted in similar recommendations in the Preservation Policy. However, the unit costs from Oregon were very different, reflecting a different approach to policy decisions by having non-zero costs specified for all of the “do-nothing” actions and very high costs for some other actions. As a result, the Preservation Policy based on element unit costs from Oregon resulted in very different recommendations.
As funding levels increase, the condition of the network also improves, as may be expected. However, for even “unlimited” levels of funding, the condition of the network always declines over time, indicating that the optimal condition of the bridges on the network is below the current condition based on current estimates of element unit costs, user costs and failure costs. The projected needs for Idaho’s bridge network using Oregon's cost data were substantially higher than those based on California’s and Idaho’s cost data. Projected benefits based on Oregon’s cost data were also much higher than those based on California’sand Idaho’s. The Preservation Policy derived from Oregon's element costs resulted in a slightly better network condition, based on the Sufficiency Rating and Bridge Health Index, although the differences are much smaller than the projected needs and benefits.