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Quality assurance of concrete bridges (in Croatian)

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Abstract

The paper deals with some factors and procedures employed for ensuring the quality and safety of concrete bridges. It stresses the importance of professional control in each phase of engineering works, continuous monitoring of changes in bridges in use as well as the necessity of automatic and planned recording and processing of all data on bridges. These data represent a basis for estimating the current state of each bridge element and of entire bridges and for evaluating the bridge behavior in the future. Such comprehensive and detailed analyses can lead to an estimation of the bearing capacity, safety and usability of bridges and to a prediction of the bridge durability. Special attention should be paid to the economic aspects of the bridge construction which should be ensured by a suitable bridge management system. All these factors should be accompanied by modern engineering legislation. (Note: the text of the paer is in Croatian language)
... The main assumption for the realization of a satisfactory structure is a conscientious and coordinated cooperation of all individuals within a management system, defined in details, and within a proposed legal framework. It is necessary to define precisely the procedures performed during the processes of planning, design, public competition and construction in order to satisfy the requirements imposed upon the bridge, considering its function, aesthetic aspects, reliability, construction and maintenance costs and environmental protection [1,2]. Consequently, it is necessary to form an independent technical, professional board to protect the Investors interest and hence the public interest and monitor (professionally and technically) the construction process from the initial idea to the final realization. ...
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Nowadays, we are witnesses of significant projects and engineering works connecting different parts of Croatia with the network of fast and safe motorways. These motorways incorporate a large number of bridges which have already been built or are in the construction phase. The construction process always has twofold effects; on one side it has great influence on the economical and social development of the country and on the other side it has negative influence on the environment changing it forever considering its different aspects, i.e. visually, biological, ecological, cultural and functional. Hence, it is necessary to protect inherited environment not only by legislation but by a detailed and carefully developed management procedure. Also, it is important and necessary to built structures of long-lasting esthetical and functional values with lowest possible financial costs. This paper proposes the possibility of improving the bridge management and organization system by introducing new appropriate standards and by constituting a special institution employing skilled experts. Based on the clearly developed and prescribed procedures and standards and after consultations with the investors such professional institution (or institutions) should bring decisions concerning full bridge management from the very first idea to the end of its service life including bridge demolition and environment recovery.
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