Jump to content
Road with orange traffic cap on the left lane, on the right a car drives by.

Development of an integrative approach for measuring and evaluating railroad and road tunnels

Current asset management is based on tradition and the intention to know about the conditions of the civil engineering constructive works. In the past and most likely also in the near future, civil engineers were usually employed to undertake this critical work, although the framework and objectives of asset management has changed a lot in recent years. Both the number of constructions and their use have increased continuously, which resulted in vast amounts of data to be considered when investigating those assets. Yet, this information also offers great potential for developing data and evidence-based mitigations measures, which could be used e.g. in a strategic Asset Health Management (AHM). In order to do so, the right kind of information needs to be collected efficiently, objectively and in a way, which guarantees further use.

This ambition is only partly incorporated in current asset management systems. The respective guide-lines and codes for planning, construction and maintenance of roads and railways (RVS) include a standardized marking system for tunnels which is based on the experience and hence subjective assessment of the respective civil engineer.

The objective of AMBITION is to provide those responsible for asset management with standardized tools and procedures for assessing the conditions of various tunnels. Especially in the state-wide infrastructure networks of ASFINAG (the Austrian highway operator) and ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways), it is essential to develop data triggered procedures in order to provide precise and objective statements about current conditions and future developments. The only way to establish a consistent AHM for tunnels is by means of a standardized and objective data structure. AMBITION strives to create the necessary basics e.g. by investigating suitable parameters for the development of class-specific degradation curves and evaluating state-of-the-art assessment techniques. The research project only deals with design-engineering structures as defined in the RVS 13.03.31 and does not include electro-mechanical components.

The results of the project are: Degradation curves for road tunnels at component level; Degradation curves for different vault linings for railway tunnels; Concept of a further developed condition assessment for mapping of the substance value; Testing & evaluation of GPR for cavity detection.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) as part of VIF 2015.