A guide for road infrastructure inspection

© Département de la Charente-Maritime

In late 2020, it was the 5th birthday of the free-access, overarching, interactive resource, “Inspection of road infrastructure”, created by Université Gustave Eiffel and Cerema. What better reason to rediscover this repository of technical documents, aimed to serve transport infrastructure managers and mainte-nance professionals.

It's now a well-known resource and has been adopted by all French professionals involved in inspecting road infrastructure,” states Bruno Godart. The former deputy director (now retired) of Université Gustave Eiffel's Materials and Structures Department (MAST)  and Christophe Aubagnac from Cerema co-directed the interactive resource, “Inspection of road infrastructure: Surveying the condition of all or part of a structure and associated issues. This collection of technical documentation, which is available as a website, was published in October 2015 and is aimed at project managers and managers of infra-structure, design offices, laboratories and private companies. Five years later, its success is not letting up - the website has received more than 36,600 individual visitors and 234,000 page views. And the most viewed document is for concrete sampling. “This resource was created to fill a void,” describes Bruno Godart. “Before, there were no reference documents for the inspection of road infrastructure in France. Professionals had to search for the right technique for their problem themselves and keep in-formed of the latest scientific advances.

25 diagnostic methodologies and 115 inspection methods
In the past five years, we have mainly worked on creating documentation for diagnostic methodologies. These combine different methods of inspection used to carry out a full diagnosis of road infrastruc-ture,” explains Bruno Godart. Nowadays, the website includes 25 diagnostic methodologies and 115 inspection methods, such as ultrasonic reflectometry, electromagnetic testing of cables, tomography, petrographic testing of concrete, resistivity and so on. Some of these methods have been used to in-spect and monitor prestressed cables on the bridge in Ile de Ré (17) or viaducts in Sylans (01) and Ech-inghen (62), for example. Others have made it possible to identify a metal's microstructure, determine which areas of a frame to treat and locate the faults in a foundation with precision.

All the methods developed since the 1970s
To be added to the website, a methodology has to have been tried and tested in the field,” emphasises Bruno Godart. Each piece of documentation is simple and instructive, presenting the principle of the method and how it works as well as the advantages, disadvantages and costs. “All the practical information needed to make the right choices.” The documentation is written and approved by a steering committee made of researchers and engineers from Cerema and Université Gustave Eiffel, and kept regularly updated. "This tool represents an archive of all the methods developed since the 1970s,” summarises Bruno Godart. It's now supervised by Jean-François Seignol, research engineer in the MAST department. Soon, seven new documents will be added, mainly focusing on inspecting masonry and metal structures.

More information
Interactive resource: Inspection of road infrastructure: https://www.ifsttar.fr/collections/CahiersInteractifs/CII1/index.html