Development of indicator-based life cycle management for transport infrastructure system structures

The key requirements for transport infrastructure systems are unrestricted functionality and availability, a high level of safety and a low level of impact on residents and the environment.

Many structures of the transport infrastructure systems are characterised by a high age and some of them have exceeded their planned useful life. Due to the ageing and damage mechanisms as well as changes in the intensity of use, the condition of a significant proportion of the infrastructure structures has also deteriorated significantly in recent years.

A systematic inspection regime has revealed a considerable need for action with regard to maintenance and renewal, which necessitates prioritisation of investments due to increasingly limited resources.


One of the most important tasks in infrastructure management is the targeted use of resources to maintain the structural substance, since the economic development of a state and the condition or expansion of transport infrastructures are directly related. The structures of transport infrastructure systems are exposed to stresses and environmental impacts, the intensity of which largely determines the type and scope of future maintenance measures. As a result, life cycle management (LCM) concepts based on scientific principles must be increasingly applied.


Research objective

The aim is to develop a cross-modal, modular and indicator-based LZM concept for engineering structures. Indicators will be derived from an object- and use-specific structural analysis in order to evaluate the individual objects and the network and to derive measures. In addition to the economic evaluation of investments, risk-based indicators are integrated into the decision-making process due to possible damage processes of components and structures. These indicators no longer only consider the causes but also the effects of various events.



The 1st phase of the research project has been completed. For maintenance planning in the form of a long-term forecast, ageing processes and maintenance measures were modelled for a selected type of structure (here: weirs), so that it can be predicted when the end of the useful life will be reached, which maintenance measure is necessary and how much investment is required. Since in a large building stock there are always several buildings reaching the end of their useful life at the same time, buildings with higher priority values are preferably considered in risk-based maintenance planning.

Contact person:Heike Schmidt-Bäumler