Concrete bridge deck condition assessment using IR Thermography and Ground Penetrating Radar technologies

Saleh Abu Dabous, Salam Yaghi, Sabah Alkass, Osama Moselhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The current practice of bridge inspection relies heavily on visual inspection, which suffers from several limitations, including the safety of the inspection team, the accuracy of subsurface defects detection, and subjectivity. In visual inspection, data collection is time consuming and the collected data is typically documented by completing standard inspection reports. These reports do not provide sufficient visualization of locations and/or the extent of defects. Emerging combinations of non-destructive testing (NDT) technologies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have the potential to circumvent some of these limitations. More research is still needed to assess the potential of these technologies to be applied in the field and to address the challenges in deploying them. The challenges include data acquisition and processing, data interpretation to identify the location and extent of defects, and the integration of results obtained from multiple technologies. This research introduces an integrated method utilizing Infrared (IR) Thermography and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technologies to enhance the detection of concrete bridge defects. Integrating results can improve confidence in defect detection and quantification, and as a result can enhance the reliability of the bridge condition rating process. The integrated system is implemented in a case study of a concrete bridge deck in the city of Laval, Quebec, Canada. The obtained results are compared to detailed and visual inspection results conducted on the bridge before its demolition. The study analyzes potential, limitations, and challenges of using the proposed integrated method. In addition, the study demonstrates the feasibility of integrating the collected data in ArcGIS for enhanced visualization of the inspection results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-354
Number of pages15
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • ArcGIS
  • Bridge
  • Condition assessment
  • GPR
  • Infrared Thermography
  • Inspection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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