Published: 2008-04-01

The application proposal of sustainable development rules for bridge modernisation

Tomasz Siwowski


Sustainable development is a philosophy of social-economic development with a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. It requires the minimization of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence in whole life cycle, ie. from-cradle-to-grave. The investigation and valuation of the environmental impacts are based on life cycle analysis with the use of the special assessment methods for product/material/technology comparison in respect of sustainable development. The whole life costs and environmental impacts assessment are the subject of two types of analysis: LCCA – life cycle costs analysis and LCA – life cycle (environmental) analysis. The integrated results of both analysis are commonly used for an evaluation, how a compared products/materials/technologies fulfil the sustainable development requirements. The application of LCCA and LCA analysis for the bridge modernisation case study is the subject of the paper. The comparative analysis of costs and environmental impacts in the whole life of a bridge for three variants of its modernisation has been carried out. The bridge modernisation with the use of the RC deck, steel deck and aluminium deck has been considered in the study. The final results have enabled the holistic view on the bridge redecking problem being very common in contemporary bridge maintenance policy. The analysis clearly reveals, that both life cycle costs and environmental impacts are the least in the case of aluminium deck. Only the whole life cycle analysis could prove, that the application of advanced materials/products/technologies in bridge construction leads up towards the sustainable development.

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Siwowski, T. (2008). The application proposal of sustainable development rules for bridge modernisation. Roads and Bridges - Drogi I Mosty, 7(3), 55–91. Retrieved from

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