Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Construction Management

First Advisor's Name

Lu Zhang

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nipesh Pradhananga

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Xuan Lv

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


critical impacting factors, bridge design, bridge construction, bridge maintenance

Date of Defense



Various impacting factors, such as technology advancement, climate change, and economic shifts are occurring and evolving at an ever-increasing pace. There is also a growing realization among bridge engineers and relevant stakeholders that these changes will significantly impact bridge performance and bridge asset management over the next decades. However, there is limited research that offers a holistic understanding on what these factors are and how these factors will potentially affect bridges in the future. To address the gap, this thesis presents a study on the identification of the critical impacting factors and their trends on the future of bridges and an analysis of how these factors would impact the ways bridges are designed, constructed, and operated. This goal is achieved through in-depth interviews (N=21) and questionnaire surveys (N=108) with bridge experts from transportation agencies and a review of secondary sources of data (i.e., published literature and reports on bridges). A total of 30 factors were identified from the interview data and secondary sources of data. According to the results from the expert survey, “Change in Construction Cost”, “Adoption of New Construction Materials or Structures”, “Adoption of New Construction Techniques”, “Change in Intensity and Frequency of Extreme Events”, and “Change in Ways of Management and Communication” were considered as the most impactful and trending factors based on the expert opinions. The results also show that experts with different years of experience, positions, and from different regions show significantly different assessments on the level of impacts of the factors on bridges. This thesis contributes to the body of knowledge by offering a holistic and explicit understanding of the multifaceted factors that could affect bridge design, construction, and operation in the future. Such understanding is important for decision makers and policymakers to introduce more proactive and timely policies and strategies that address the new challenges brought by these factors.





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