Highway asset owners throughout the INFRAVATION partner countries face two major problems with regard to the data needed for maintenance, repair, retrofit and rebuild of their bridges and other structures: a) the extensive time required for data collection by existing assessment methods, and particularly the need for lane closures, given the enormous numbers of bridges in service; and b) the gap between the quality of data available in Bridge Management Systems (BMS) and the information needed for reliable decision-making and subsequent design and construction work.

The need for innovative solutions for rapid and intelligent survey and assessment methods has led to numerous research efforts toward laser scanning and modelling of bridges. However, the models produced do not contain any semantic information. The major remaining problem with these methods is that they require lengthy, expensive and error-prone human efforts to produce object-oriented parametric bridge models (equivalent to Building Information Models, or ‘BIM’ models, of buildings). In the meantime, the transportation service often remains interrupted.