The Lombardi Group has been appointed to conduct a diagnostic study of 11 railway bridges belonging to Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE) in the Biobío region of south-central Chile. These bridges, built between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are a vital part of the country's railway infrastructure. Recently, problems such as scour and general wear and tear have raised concerns about their state of preservation and safety.
Lombardi's study focuses on assessing the preservation and stability of bridge foundations. It includes both field and cabinet analysis methods. Field inspections range from visual examinations to geophysical and topographic testing, providing detailed data on the current condition of the structures. This data is then analyzed in the office, where each bridge is numerically modeled to evaluate its preservation and stability, ensuring its safety and considering possible improvements.
This diagnosis is crucial, as many of these bridges have exceeded 50 years of service, a significant milestone in terms of infrastructure. Lombardi's multidisciplinary team is working on defining reliability indices, assessing the residual performance of the bridges and forecasting their remaining useful life. This project is not only important for the Biobío region, but also highlights the global need to maintain and rehabilitate aging road infrastructure, ensuring its safe and efficient operation for future generations.