Load Testing and Evaluation of Makkah Bridges
Zuhair Fayez Partnership (ZFP) Consultants entered into an agreement with Intelligent Infrastructure Systems to evaluate three of the City of Makkah’s main bridges, including the King Khaled Bridge, the King Abdulaziz Bridge and the Al-Nassim Bridge. These bridges are located on the main highways entering Makkah and represent the most critical transportation linkages in and out of the city, which is especially important during the Hajj pilgrimage time.
The City of Makkah was concerned about the safety of these bridges due to observed distress and deterioration. To evaluate these bridges, Intelligent Infrastructure Systems reviewed all of the existing and previous documents, inspection reports, and photos. This information was compiled by Intelligent Infrastructure Systems into a Bridge Information Model that allows a user to fly-through a 3D CAD of the bridges and observe the spatial location of deterioration, photographs and comments made by the inspector.
Given the remote advisory role that Intelligent Infrastructure Systems served in this project, this visualization and information management tool was critical to fully conceptualizing the structure. Based on a thorough review of all documentation, Intelligent Infrastructure Systems submitted a preliminary evaluation report, risk assessment report, and load rating report for each bridge.
Due to identified deficiencies and the importance of these bridges, it was concluded that controlled truck load testing should be carried out to allow for a more quantitative assessment of performance and capacity. To facilitate this, Intelligent Infrastructure Systems provided custom instrumentation plans, loading scenarios, and a comprehensive guideline for the execution of the truck load test for each bridge. Following the testing, Intelligent Infrastructure Systems examined the data in detail by performing a best practices error screening and interpretation and ultimately used the results to refine the original load ratings and risk assessment of each bridge. To mitigate the identified performance issues and deficiencies in each of the bridges, Intelligent Infrastructure Systems developed and submitted a set of recommendations for rehabilitation/retrofit to ensure the satisfactory performance of the bridges for 10 years.