Rehabilitation of Aging Infrastructure


Rehabilitation of
Aging Infrastructure

In the indus­tria­lized countries, the 1970s were charac­te­rized by a burgeoning economy, expanding mobility, a rise in traffic, growing energy demand and signi­fi­cantly increased water usage. This went hand in hand with extensive invest­ments in infra­st­ructure facilities, especially motorways and railway lines including bridges and tunnels, in hydro­power plants, water supply systems, and waste­water disposal and treatment plants. Such struc­tures were designed for a service life of 60 to 80 years. The respective facilities were planned and constructed according to the knowledge at the time and the predicted social develo­pment and expected long-term material behavior.

To date, the existing struc­tures have largely accom­plished their intended purpose and continue to be essential components of the current infra­st­ructure. Compared to the assump­tions made when the struc­tures were planned and built, great changes have taken place since then. Dispro­por­tionate and unpre­dic­table impacts – resulting on the one hand from the enormous traffic volume, and on the other hand from increased spreading of salt on roads in winter to meet more stringent road safety requi­re­ments – have become evident in all traffic facilities. In waste­water disposal, signi­fi­cantly larger amounts and changed compo­sition of municipal and indus­trial waste­water have been observed. In addition, there are new requi­re­ments from standards concerning load cases, verifi­cation of load-bearing capacity and conso­li­dated knowledge on the topic of durability and fatigue behavior of construction materials.

All these aspects require early and extensive rehabi­li­tation of existing infra­st­ructure facilities to make them fit for current and future demands.

Role of ILF

ILF provides consulting services to clients, from initial consi­de­ra­tions on the evaluation of the actual condition of struc­tures, definition of current and future requi­re­ments, planning of measures, and even construction. A compre­hensive approach is adopted taking into account not only technical aspects but also economic efficiency and sustaina­bility with regard to the life cycle of structures.

Benefits to Clients

The rehabi­li­tation of aging infra­st­ructure facilities generally involves different technical disci­plines. Besides solutions for the rehabi­li­tation (material), ILF can also provide comple­mentary geolo­gical, geotech­nical and environ­mental expertise among others. Backed by in-house profes­sionals, ILF offers a complete package of services so that clients receive custo­mized solutions and do not have to keep an eye on interfaces.

ILF offers the following services in the field of Rehabi­li­tation of Aging Infrastructure: 

  • Evaluating struc­tures based on existing documents from the design phase, by means of testing (e.g. compressive strength) and sampling (e.g. chemical analysis of concrete), measuring concrete cover and localizing reinfor­cement to determine any residual load-bearing capacities
  • Defining current and future demands on structures
  • Comparing current condi­tions with defined requirements
  • Planning measures for the rehabi­li­tation of struc­tures while in operation, or planning comple­mentary or new struc­tures while largely keeping the existing struc­tures operational
  • Performing life cycle cost analyses (comparing costs of rehabi­li­tation and new construction)
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