The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has replaced the lead-based coatings on many of its steel bridges over the past 30 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, inorganic zinc primers with vinyl topcoats were the go-to option for coating replacement projects. Since 2000, the typical choice for these projects has been organic zinc primers that are part of a two- or three-coat system. Some of these coatings have localized failures in high-stress areas. KYTC’s current inventory of steel bridges numbers over 1,100 structures. Accounting for expected service lives, to properly maintain protective coatings on these bridges will require the Cabinet to paint at least 50 structures per year. To facilitate the agency’s efforts, Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) researchers audited the Cabinet’s bridge inventory. KTC used a 10-point qualitative rating scale to evaluate the paint condition of each bridge. This exercise identified 116 bridges as candidates for full removal of the existing coating and recoating. Researchers met with the bridge engineers in each of KYTC’s 12 districts to discuss the rankings and assist with prioritizing projects. An ArcGIS Online map was produced which catalogues key attributes of each bridge, including structure type, location, district, span length, facility carried, feature intersection, paint condition, a brief description, and pictures from the most recent inspection.

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