In recent years, the bridge construction industry of China has developed rapidly. With the increase in bridge service lifetime, numerous damages and cracks have appeared that pose a direct threat to its structure and transportation safety. Therefore, a new approach to bridge management and maintenance is proposed using building information modeling (BIM) system. The objective of this paper is to monitor and manage bridge problems in real time. It will develop an intelligent bridge management and maintenance system model. This system will improve bridge management and maintenance and reduce the number of accidents on unsafe bridges. According to the data, the management and maintenance units can adopt scientific and reasonable methods to manage and restore bridges. This will ensure the safety and property of people. To improve the efficiency of bridge management and maintenance, a visible and accurate model is built with a combination of BIM technology. In this model, bridge damages are controlled and analyzed using BIM technology. The results show that the changes in the cracks and damage to the bridge within a year continue to rise from January to September and decrease from September to October. The crack of width and length continues to increase from October to December. As a case study, Tianyuan Bridge is selected to evaluate the technical condition of the bridge. The overall evaluation of the bridge result indicates a class II bridge.

1. Introduction

Building information modeling (BIM) has made a comeback in the construction sector. It is being used in infrastructure engineering. This technology is a unique strategy that may be utilized for structure design, construction, and facility management. It is a digital representation of the building process and is used to improve information flow and interoperability. Throughout the life cycle, the use of BIM results in cost savings, quality control, and efficiency improvements. BIM technology is now used in the design and construction of the bridge. However, BIM technology is rarely used in bridge management and maintenance [1]. This technology cannot accurately detect the bridge damages and cracks information during the bridge management and maintenance process. However, the bridge structure and actual condition of the bridge can be monitored in real time. The bridge management, maintenance units, and personnel lack data to carry out the bridge management and maintenance work. In the construction industry, bridges have a unique structure. In the design and planning process, there are several structures and shapes, as well as numerous special-shaped components with complex mechanical properties [2]. To solve this problem, this study analyzes the intelligent bridge management and maintenance system using BIM technology.

BIM has also been implemented by commercial software like Autodesk Revit, Archicad, and Allplan because of its unique benefits. BIM has also been effectively applied in the design and construction of several bridges. However, the as-built bridge information model for maintenance and management was introduced late in the maintenance phase. To boost maintenance efficiency, several researchers merged BIM with conventional management systems. In bridge management and maintenance, it is difficult to express and analyze the existing problems immediately. BIM technology can provide a visual display of bridge detection information and monitoring data. Bridge engineers can use BIM technology to manage and integrate the data generated in each stage of the bridge preliminary survey, design, construction, and later maintenance by electronic methods reducing the phenomenon of data not being linked at each level, as well as providing a better basis for later bridge management and maintenance.

The main innovations in the research process of this paper are as follows:(1)Focus on the basic definition and model of BIM, describe the three-dimensional modeling process of BIM in detail, and provide technical support for the construction of intelligent bridge management and maintenance system model based on BIM technology [3];(2)Further explain the two important functions of the model, namely, bridge management and bridge technical condition evaluation, and formulate the intelligent bridge management and maintenance system based on the results of the two functions.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 explains the related work of different researchers who have already proposed different models based on BIM technology. Section 3 explains the overview of the proposed model of the BIM technology, which contains the construction of BIM technology, 3D modeling, and the lightweight, which will improve the speed. Section 4 explains the construction of BIM based on intelligent bridge management and maintenance system, performance analysis of the proposed BIM model, technical condition evaluation, and bridge damage analysis. Finally, Section 5 is the conclusion of the paper.

Nowadays, many scholars at home and abroad have begun to study the application of BIM technology in bridge management and maintenance. They have made significant technological advancements. [4]. Dupuis et al. developed a BIM model to evaluate and monitor the development status of bridge technology. The results show that BIM technology can significantly speed up the bridge inspection and automatic evaluation [5]. Ruffels et al. evaluated and monitored the bridge structure using the BIM model. He pointed out that the BIM model provided a new approach for locating bridge damages and promoted further research into the field of bridge construction capacity and degradation mode [6]. Dang and Shim used BIM technology in bridge protective maintenance and developed an image-based bridge maintenance system [7]. Politics et al. evaluated the bridge maintenance scheme, using a multi-objective genetic algorithm as the search engine, and selected the scheme with the best effect among the objectives. This scheme provides bridge managers with a multi-objective decision-making bridge maintenance scheme [8]. Apriani and Megasari defined BIM technology and established the frame system combined with the life cycle project. This frame system is used to design reinforced concrete bridge columns [9]. Xia et al. used BIM technology to formulate extensible bridge information mode in designing bridge engineering and construction, mainly including parametric modeling, digital prototype, SD simulation, and 4D model. The bridge information mode is used in bridge engineering with an ideal effect [10]. Zhang et al. used IFC standard and BIM technology while developing a railway bridge model, and used this model when designing two bridge projects [11]. Ye. analyzes the development status of BIM technology at home and abroad, studies the advantages of using BIM technology in bridge engineering, and analyzes the significant advantages of using BIM technology in the later stage of the bridge [12]. Gao et al. built the family library required by the BIM model of a super-large cable-stayed bridge and built the overall information model of a cable-stayed bridge using Revit software. For the first time, BIM technology is used in bridge design, allowing for a technological leapfrog [13]. Wang combined highway maintenance using GIS and BIM technology and developed the latest highway preventive maintenance measures [14]. Zhang et al. proposed bridge management and maintenance using Web GIS technology to achieve regional bridge management and the objective of sharing bridge maintenance data [15]. Shang G D uses the visualization function of BIM technology for simulation analysis, starting with the characteristics of the Hangzhou east railway station project, to optimize the construction plan of the project [16]. Lu uses Navisworks software to achieve the objective of visual simulation in water conservancy and hydropower projects using BIM technology and to query simulation analysis data based on dynamic visual presentation [17].

3. Overview BIM Technology

This paper uses BIM technology to build the intelligent bridge management and maintenance system model. In the second step, the BIM model should be lightweight. To effectively produce a BIM model, this model contains a considerable quantity of data and a high volume, resulting in the impact of browsing on the network running speed and loading capacity during the loading of the BIM model. The third step is the construction of the bridge management and maintenance model and, finally, the analysis of the performance of the intelligent bridge model.

3.1. BIM Definition

The National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) of the USA defines BIM based on three-dimensional digital technology. This technology can inherit all the information about the engineering project on one engineering data model. This technology adopts a digital method to explain the characteristics and entities of the engineering project [18]. NBIMS accurately describes BIM technology from the following points, model accuracy, interactivity, stored information, data model, network-based collaborative operation, and the whole project life cycle. The main objective of BIM technology is that it can make full use of database information to serve the project. It can build a BIM database to store different types of engineering data as well as quickly manage and analyze engineering data. BIM technology is based on the traditional three-dimensional model, giving the model a large number of various data related to the project. The architectural design will develop from the initial two-dimensional design to an n-dimensional design. Furthermore, the BIM model can be modified into bridge management and maintenance, and the model with more modifications is called the “resume model.” This resume model can be used in the whole cycle stage of the project, and the data of all stages of architectural design can be integrated into this model.

3.2. BIM Model Construction

This paper uses BIM technology to build an intelligent bridge management and maintenance system. Initially, BIM three-dimensional model will be created and then preprocessed further [19]. Figure 1 shows the process of building a BIM model.

The first step is to develop a three-dimensional bridge model based on the designed bridge drawings. The bridge BIM model is then lightweight in the second stage. The third step is to optimize the rendering mode of the model. The final stage is the data interaction between the BIM model and other platforms.

3.2.1. 3D Modeling

The modeling of a 3D model can be achieved by three methods, namely, tilt photography, 3D laser scanning, and software drawing. After analyzing the economic cost and complexity of the three methods, we have selected CAD drawing after comparison. To obtain a 3D model, we have used software drawing under certain conditions. There are numerous software available in the market used to build BIM model. Software like Bentley, Autodesk Revit, Archicad, and other modeling are widely used. However, Revit software has its own “family” function. It has a simple operation mode and perfect functions. It is free for all users. Starting with the software function and application scope, this paper analyzes the functions of each software according to the relevant data from the bridge structure evaluation and tracking information model. The comparison results are listed in Table 1. In comparison with other software, it is determined that Revit software has the ability of strong bridge modeling, damage location recording ability, and damage simulation ability. The functions of the software are the key to the operation of the bridge management system. Therefore, Revit software is selected when establishing the bridge BIM model in this paper.

Each component in the Autodesk Revit software is built on the concept of “family.” This function allows users to manage and modify model parameters according to their requirements and customize various types of “family elements.” The advantage of Revit software is that it allows you to build a BIM model in the way of a “family” without learning and mastering a basic programming language. This paper uses Revit 2016 software to build a three-dimensional model of the bridge based on the drawn bridge CAD drawings. The flowchart for bridge modeling is shown in Figure 2.

The process of creating a 3D model of the bridge in Revit software is as follows:(1)Create a new project. Select the required structural samples and establish a blank template.(2)Build a new grid and elevation to locate the bridge accurately.(3)Create a new project, select the required structural samples, and create a blank template to create a new family.(4)To effectively build the 3D model bridge, import the “family” into the new blank sample, modify the family parameters, and import the “family” based on the elevation position corresponding to the CAD drawing in the grid.

The family types provided in Revit software have certain limitations, the most common of which are pipelines, doors, and windows, and building elements. There are few family elements related to bridge construction. Therefore, during modeling, a part of the “family” should be constructed according to parameters. The “metric convention model” is usually used as the family template, and . RFT format is saved. A new family element is established by fusing, stretching, rotating, fusing lofting, lofting, member, and hollow shape model lines. At the same time, a new “family element” is created, and geometric attributes are customized to record and manage building component parameter characteristics.

This paper will include the following family elements: wet joints, piers, blocks, abutments, cap beams, box girders, piles, cushion bearings, caps, piers, etc.

3.2.2. BIM Lightweight

The successfully constructed BIM model has a large amount of data and large volume, resulting in the impact of the browser on the network running speed and loading capacity during the loading of the BIM model. To begin with, the loading speed of the model is sluggish. Second, the volume of the model itself is large, which prevents it from loading correctly and affects the user experience. When dealing with the current problems, the BIM model should be lightweight. Most components of the bridge model are the same, such as abutment, bridge, and pier. The difference lies in the spatial position of each component. Therefore, this paper uses the similarity algorithm to reduce the number of elements by merging elements, to achieve lightweight. The implementation procedure is as follows.(1)Input the BIM model, it is assumed that the number of the components in the model is N representing, respectively, by B1, B2, ... BN, and they are classified according to the component types and IfcRepresentationItems. Most commonly these IfcRepresentationItem's are geometric or topological representation items that can have presentation style information assigned entity name to form a component pair.(2)When parsing component pairs, the total number of instances is , and then the sets and . After searching and comparing the semantic content, ifcmappeditem is the inserted instance of a source definition (to be compared with a block/shared cell/macrodefinition). The instance is inserted by applying a Cartesian transformation operator as the MappingTarget type of each instance in the two sets, and the content matching relationship between and can be obtained.(3)After the above process, sort out the components, analyze the content matching relationship between them, is stored in matrix , and the value of element is represented by the following formula:When the value of the above formula is 1, it indicates that the content of this component matches.(4)In this paper, the geometric similarity is calculated by ICP and can be calculated by the following formula:The matching examples of two different components are represented by and , and HD represents Hausdorff distance. The following is the basic calculation formula:(5)The area weighting algorithm is used to calculate the similarity between two different components. The following is the calculation formula:In formula (4), two different components are represented by and , respectively.(6)If the similarity is higher than the set threshold, then it indicates that this component is repeated. To merge elements, only the data in one element are retained, and the remaining elements are loaded in the way of “reference + spatial coordinates.”

4. Construction of Intelligent Bridge Management and Maintenance System Model Based on BIM Technology

The purpose of the BIM model is to construct an intelligent bridge management and maintenance system that can monitor the damages and cracks using three-dimensional visualization to record the damages to the bridge and display it in the form of a damage marker. The data will be analyzed to determine the condition of the bridge.

4.1. Bridge Management and Maintenance

The proposed paper establishes an intelligent bridge management and maintenance system model based on BIM technology. One of the main objectives of this model is bridge damage and crack management. The purpose of this model is to manage damages to the bridge and display and track those damages. This model can adopt three-dimensional visualization to manage those damages and cracks to the bridge [20].

The bridge damages can be managed by structurally saving them from cracks. Different IDS can be used to identify the corresponding bridge and damages. The ID can also be better associated with the bridge components and damaged parts. Different colors are used to identify the damage information in the three-dimensional scene. Judge the bridge damage status according to the color distribution, and press the component to view. It will display the details of the damage. As shown in Figure 3, the damage to the bridge is recorded, and the three-dimensional process is displayed in the form of a damage marker.

After a successful bridge inspection, the existing bridge damage data and the inspection data should be updated in combination. Figure 4 shows the storage process of updating the damage record. When updating the bridge damages, use the data shown in Figure 4. To begin, open the bridge BIM model, select the corresponding bridge components, and browse for new damage in the bridge or check whether the previous damage data have changed. If new damage is formed, it should be added to the damage record of the bridge. If the last damage data change, the new damage data should be uploaded at this time. After completion, it is necessary to judge whether all the new damages are added. If all the above new damages are updated, it means that the operation of updating the current damages is completed. If not, it is necessary to update the next component damage to the bridge.

4.2. Bridge Technical Condition Evaluation

According to the relevant maintenance requirements for evaluating bridges, highways, and culverts, combined with the detection indicators given in the regulations, the score of different components and the overall technical conditions of the bridge are calculated. The grades are determined according to the scores, and the scientific management and maintenance scheme is formulated with reference to the evaluation results.(1)Count and classify bridge components, and assign corresponding weights for different components. All components on the bridge are divided into substructure, superstructure, and bridge deck system. Each component has a corresponding weight. Therefore, different components on the bridge should be accurately categorized. Table 2 shows the different classifications and corresponding weights in bridge construction.(2)Formulate bridge evaluation rules and scores, evaluate the technical condition of the bridge, evaluate different “components” on the bridge according to the provisions of the standard JTG/T h21-2011, and calculate the technical status of the bridge according to the four levels of “component, part, and the whole.” The detailed process is as follows:(i)First, calculate the score for the technical conditions of the “component” part of the bridge, using the formula below:When the value of is 1, is equal to .When is greater than or equal to 2,When the value of is 100, you can getThe scores of , , and in the above formula for class component in different parts of the structure on the bridge are in the range of [0100], the component type is represented by , the number of deduction types of component is represented by , the introduced variables are represented by , , and , respectively, and the class detection index on component is represented by ; the score deduction value of the detection index in the component is represented by .(ii)A large number of data are recorded from a complete bridge component, and the technical scores of different components on the bridge are calculated by the following formula:In the above formula, and , and , and and are the average and lowest scores of class components in different components of the bridge, respectively; the coefficient after increasing the number of components is expressed by .(iii)For the calculation of technical scores of different parts of the bridge, the formula is as follows:

The above formula represents the overall technical score of the bridge, in which , , and represent the corresponding weights of different parts of the bridge.

4.3. Performance Analysis of Intelligent Bridge Management and Maintenance System Model

The performance of the bridge will be analyzed based on the tracking the damage and cracks to the bridge over the year. The condition of the bridge will be assessed after the evaluation of the data. As a result, bridge management and maintenance strategies can be formulated in advance to address such problems.

4.3.1. Bridge Damage Analysis

This paper develops an intelligent bridge management and maintenance system model based on BIM technology and analyzes the damages to the bridge using this model. Some damages are formed through long-term accumulation. As a result, the damage development tendency may be forecasted ahead of time. Bridge management and maintenance strategies can be formulated in advance to address such problems. The progression of the damages over time is collected by tracking the damage to the bridge. Figure 5 shows the record of damages and cracks over the year. Set the initial and end time and specify the query period to query and analyze the crack data.

Figure 5 shows the damage and crack data monitored over the year. The data were recorded from January 2021 to December 2021. The development trend of crack length and width is the same. In September, the crack width touched 38.7 mm, and the length increased to 193.5 mm. This is the maximum width and length of the crack. The crack width and length decreased rapidly to 18.6 mm and 61.3 mm. The crack width and length increased to 31.6 mm and 136.5 mm from October to December.

4.3.2. Bridge Technical Condition Evaluation

The Tianyuan Bridge is used in this paper to evaluate the technical condition of the bridge. This type of bridge is found to be a steel arch bridge. In the BIM model, damage elements are created. All the collected data after inspection are saved in the database and the bridge components. The bridge components, overall level, and the parts can be evaluated automatically by pressing the “evaluation condition” function on the model. The evaluation results obtained will be reflected on the bridge BIM model for the first time. The evaluation grade can be accurately determined according to the color of the component elements. To obtain component evaluation results, update the appearance of the model. Press the “history query” button to open the technical status page to query the scoring table and damage information. Table 3 shows the results of the technical condition evaluation.

According to the evaluation results of the overall technical condition of the bridge given in Table 3, the overall evaluation of the bridge indicates that it is a class II bridge. The superstructure also belongs to class II. The substructure and bridge deck system belong to class I, and the score of the upper bearing components is the lowest.

After inspection and technical condition evaluation of the bridge, the data are usually submitted to the management and maintenance unit. The personnel of the unit develop a maintenance and repair plan for the problems of bridge components. Each personnel of bridge management and maintenance repair improve the bridge service life. At the same time, there is an “evaluation history” function in the lower left corner of the smart bridge management and maintenance system model based on BIM. After clicking this function, you can browse each technical evaluation result, which involves the broken line diagram of different component scores, different parts, and overall scores. Figure 6 shows the results of four technical tests on the Tianyuan Bridge from 2018 to 2021. The broken line in Figure 6 shows that the bridge deck system has obvious fluctuations in the technical condition score because the relevant components of the bridge deck system are related to human activities, such as guardrails and railings, which will lead to the rust and corrosion of steel materials in the coastal environment, the deformation, and damage of pedestrians and vehicles. However, the later maintenance of such guardrails, railings, and other bridge deck system components is simple, so the technical condition score of the bridge deck system fluctuates greatly compared with others.

This paper uses the intelligent bridge management and maintenance system model based on BIM technology to manage the bridge technical status information, visually manage the damage information on the bridge, and automatically evaluate the bridge components. Analyze the historical development status of bridge technology to reflect the effect of bridge management and maintenance.

5. Conclusions

In China, the number of bridges has expanded dramatically during the past several decades. This puts a lot of pressure on the owners, on the industry, and even on the government to keep them in good repair. To address the growing demand for bridge maintenance, an effective and efficient bridge management system has become essential. A model for bridge management and repair was developed in this research as information technology has been widely used in different industries such as banking, e-commerce, and manufacturing, due to this rapid advancement of science and technology and the widespread adoption of informatization. However, compared to foreign countries, the civil engineering and building sectors utilize less information technology. This paper deeply studies the application of the BIM model (building information model) at various stages of bridge design, construction, management, and maintenance, to obtain better bridge data. The intelligent bridge management and the maintenance system model are evaluated using BIM technology. The two main functional processes in the model are described in depth. They are bridge damage management and bridge technical condition evaluation. These two functions are used to analyze the situation at Tianyuan Bridge. The overall evaluation of the bridge result indicates that it is a class II bridge. The most serious damage is bridge crack. The bridge management and maintenance personnel analyze the bridge damages and develop a bridge management and maintenance strategy.

Data Availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the author on reasonable request.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest for publication of this paper.


This was supported by Science and technology research plan project of Hubei Provincial Department of Education “Research on smart bridge management and maintenance system model based on BIM Technology” (b2020270).