Context and Perspective

Deteriorating transportation infrastructure is an issue that concerns cities and communities throughout the world. Trista is the chief civil engineer for a large metropolitan area. Among her many responsibilities, she is accountable for the monitoring and maintenance of 82 land and water bridges in her area. She already has some industry-standard data about the bridges she is responsible for, and she has access to a regional data set with similar data for 493 bridges that were recently assessed by other engineers like her in surrounding cities for safety and repair needs. The regional data set contains one attribute that she thinks will benefit her, a classification for each bridge into one of four "need" categories, which in order of urgency are Monitor, Schedule Assessment, Schedule Repair/Replacement, and Immediate Repair/Replacement. She knows that her budget will not allow her to send out survey and repair teams to all 82 bridges she's responsible for, so she has asked us to help her use the data she has to predict which category each of her bridges are likely to be in.