Most transport systems have a programme for highway administration which will include a planned and co-ordinated approach to bridge management. Environmental performance is increasingly being seen as a principle against which bridge management should be measured, but a comprehensive understanding of the
environmental impacts of bridge management activity does not yet exist.
Environmental tools and information must be developed and integrated into current bridge management practice.
Surrey County Council has recognised this need by creating an assessment method for the environmental comparison of bridge management strategies and forming a partnership with BRE's Centre for Sustainable Construction. This paper is an output from that collaboration and describes the assessment tools that have been previously developed by the Centre and that can be used in drawing up a bridge management strategy: Environmental profiles of construction products and Ecopoints that can be used for ranking and scoring different environmental impacts of materials and processes.
The environmental implications of bridge design and construction, the choice of materials, the service life and maintenance strategy are considered.
Designing a bridge that is adaptable to different levels of traffic and has easily replaceable components may not only extend its useful life (and so reduce its overall environmental impact) but also reduce the air pollution caused by traffic disruptions and diversions during bridge repairs and replacement. 12 pages.