Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

George Tsiatas

Abstract

Life-cycle costs (LCC) and environmental impacts of bridges have gained in importance over the past decades. Therefore, a life-cycle cost analysis should be an essential component of the bridge design decision-making.

The objective of this thesis is to compare a FRP bridge deck with a reinforced concrete deck and compile the different costs that appear during the whole life-cycle of a bridge through a computational software. Computational methods help to understand and predict the impact of uncertain factors on a whole life-cycle cost analysis is essential. To obtain an overview of the topic, commonly used materials are introduced and basic knowledge of FRP is imparted. Additionally, terms such as LCC and lifecycle assessment (LCA) are defined and methods of performing analysis to determine these are explained. LCC Analysis is used to develop a cost compilation of all costs during the life-cycle and pay respect to cost sensitivity. LCA is used to obtain the impact of a design on the environment. These impacts are assigned with estimated environmental costs. Computational software for implementation of these analysis are implemented.

A full life-cycle cost analysis is conducted in this work using the software BridgeLCC 2.0 by NIST. All cost items and unit amounts throughout the life-cycle are implemented and assigned with uncertainties. The analysis is followed by a comparison and discussion of results.

The obtained results show qualitative correspondence with trends that were predicted in the literature for the material’s future. The longer the bridge design life, the more FRP is catching up to reinforced concrete bridge decks and is therefore a competitive alternative. Especially, when taking user costs into consideration, a positive impact on costs of the roadway user is perceived. Additionally, environmental costs included to the LCCA, show the clear advantages of FRP over reinforced concrete.

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