Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Dan M. Frangopol
Within the last decade, several attempts have been made to understand the effects of climate change on infrastructure systems. For instance, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is supporting a multiphase research effort to understand the problems arising from climate change in the gulf coast area. Attempts have been made to quantify possible changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and increasing severity and frequency of storms. Although these studies can estimate possible changes associated with climate change, the effects of climate change on life-cycle safety, sustainability and resilience of transportation systems, including bridges, are not addressed. Accordingly, in this study, an integral approach to investigate these effects on life-cycle, safety, sustainability and resilience of steel bridges with and without corrosion resistant steel will be constructed to assist in decision making and management of these bridges under climate change conditions. Outcomes of this project include (a) integrate the effects of climate change into life-cycle management activities of steel bridges including design, maintenance and repair, (b) analyze the effects of climate change on life-cycle safety, sustainability and resilience of steel bridges with and without corrosion resistant steel, and (c) quantify the life-cycle benefits due to climate change effects in terms of life-cycle cost, safety, sustainability, resilience of steel bridges made of corrosion resistant steel. Outcomes from this project are relevant to the Nation’s steel bridge infrastructure by considering the effects of climate change, and in particular should provide economic and social benefits to Pennsylvania where steel bridges represent the majority of the total number of highway bridges. Companies such as ArcelorMittal will benefit from this project by using a novel model that includes the effects of climate change on life-cycle safety, sustainability and resilience of bridges made of maintenance-free steel.