Conference paper

Harnessing social perception of a bridge's condition

Operating and maintaining a bridge is a union of two dichotomous entities: the analytical civil engineer and the experiencing public. In a perfect society, the concerns of the former would be actively and completely supported by the later, but in practice this support is commonly incomplete. This paper employs findings from the field of applied-psychology, heuristics in particular, and an example series of interactions with the Brooklyn Bridge to detail how social perception of a bridge’s condition evolves over time. From these findings, the authors propose to introduce partial high-quality but incomplete maintenance actions, implemented prior to a bridge reaching a critical state, to serve as an evaluation benchmark to harness and align the social perception of the bridge’s condition with that of the analytical engineer.


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