Development of an assessment and prediction framework for bridge expansion joints

Author's Department

Construction Engineering Department

All Authors

Abdelhay Badawy, Ossama A. Hosny, Hatem Elbehairy, and Elkhayam M. Dorra

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Date



Expansion joints (EJ)s are considered one of the weakest elements in bridges as their lifetime is considerably shorter than that of other elements. The objective of this research was to select an appropriate system for assessment and maintenance of bridges’ EJs. The system seeks to predict the conditions of EJs, with the aim of offering appropriate maintenance and repair strategies that extend their life spans. An EJ management system (EJMS) was developed that optimizes cost over time, targeting the optimum maintenance strategy for EJs, through visual inspections and a genetic algorithm to construct a unique Markov chain transition matrix capable of predicting EJ deterioration. The model was tested using case studies of existing bridges in Egypt and the results were compared against visual inspection, with the comparison showing deviations between 3.2% and 8.1%. The EJMS can help decision makers in selecting the optimum maintenance strategy that maximizes the overall conditions of EJs while meeting budgetary constraints.

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