Element-Level Optimization Module for Bridge Planning and Programming

Academic Article


  • The overall objective of this research is to support state departments of transportation with their decision-making processes and transitions to performance management and performance-based planning and programming mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Accomplishing this objective requires a systematic multiobjective optimization methodology. This research proposes such a methodology, referred to as an “element-based multiobjective optimization” (EB-MOO) methodology, which produces optimal or near-optimal sets of short- and long-term intervention strategies detailed at the bridge element level for planning and programming. The methodology currently focuses on the bridge asset class and consists of five modules: (1) data processing, (2) improvement, (3) element-level optimization (ELO), (4) bridge-level optimization (BLO), and (5) network-level optimization (NLO) modules. This paper details the ELO module, specifically: the basic framework of underlying processes and concepts, the alternative feasibility screening process, optimization problem types and mathematical formulations, and the heuristic algorithm used to solve the ELO problems. The paper also includes an illustrative example using a prototyping tool developed to implement EB-MOO methodology. The example presents several ELO problems under unconstrained scenarios. The implementation demonstrated the module’s capability in producing optimal or near-optimal ELO solutions, recommending element intervention actions, predicting performance, and determining funding requirements for the specified improvement type and program year. The broader EB-MOO methodology uses the ELO results as inputs for the BLO and NLO modules.
  • Authors

  • Bell, Erin
  • Naji, Karim
  • Santini-Bell, Erin
  • Kwiatkowski, Kyle
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2022
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • bridge and structures management
  • infrastructure
  • infrastructure management and system preservation
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 293
  • End Page

  • 310
  • Volume

  • 2676
  • Issue

  • 1