Federal Highway Research Institute


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Bridge Management System (BMS)

Maintenance measures are necessary to ensure the continued existence of bridges and tunnels. The aging of the structures and growing traffic loads increase the need for material maintenance. As there are only limited funds available, it is necessary to have a maintenance planning system which is optimised for the entire country. The BASt developed a Bridge Management System, abbreviated to BMS for this purpose. This system is intended to optimise the planning of measures and the use of funds and also to be used as a controlling instrument.

The BMS is based on data relating to the population and condition of the structures. The data are recorded routinely by the federal states’ road-construction authorities during structural tests using the SIB-Bauwerke programme system. The scope and structure of these structural data are laid down in the "Instruction on the use of the Road Information Database". The damage and the structural condition are documented in a standard manner according to the DIN specifications. All structural and test data are entered into the "Road Information Database" programme system, abbreviated to SIB (Programmsystem Strasseninformationsbank).

The graph shows the structure of BMS BMS at structural level

Structural data and complex damage profiles are analysed. This analysis results in the possible maintenance measures and strategies which could be used. The costs arising for the construction authorities, users and environment are also calculated and details on the future behaviour of the structures determined. A cost/benefit analysis enables the different measures to be assessed using socio-economic criteria. The analysis shows what measure is expedient and how urgent it is, as a reference parameter for ranking the urgency of measures throughout the entire network.

The graph shows the network level of BMS Network level

Ranking the urgency of the measures represents a first starting point for the maintenance programme. Additional conditions and restrictions, such as the budget or the combination of different measures, require further optimisation at network level. This may result in postponements for measures and structures. In addition to providing information on the funds required, the programme also analyses and represents scenarios for different maintenance strategies.

The graph shows the maintenance plan Maintenance planning

The federal state authorities combine with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development to plan the maintenance of federal trunk roads. The goals and strategies for the maintenance work are laid down, based on the results of the inventory analysis, with consideration given to restrictions such as limited funds. These specifications are then used as a basis for the specific maintenance planning which is carried out at state level.

The graph shows BMS at federal level BMS at federal level

Controlling measures are carried out to manage maintenance planning at federal level. The structural data required by the federal government are evaluated with the assistance of specially developed programme systems, namely the "German Federal Highway Information System", abbreviated to BISStra (Bundesinformationssystem Strasse), and the Structural Information System, ISBW (Informationssystem Bauwerke). Predictions, target/actual comparisons and balance sheets provide the basis for testing goals and strategies. Likewise for laying down the budget, direct interventions in the federal states’ maintenance planning and for the necessary updating of the regulations.