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Overcoming Challenges Of Bridge Inspection
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Bridge inspections are a challenging task and if it is not done properly, it can cause life threatening accidents like the collapse of a section of a bridge or the whole structure. Such major accidents have happened in the past and each time has claimed lives. Such incidences have made the public as well as the government authorities concerned over the how these bidges should be maintained
The department of transportation inspects our nations bridges every two years. They spent a large amount of money and undertake enormous efforts to maintain existing bridges despite the fact that the growing population and increased have caused the bridges to be functionally obsolete. The US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) spent $12.8 billion in 2013 for bridge maintenance (ASCE, 2013). The FHWA estimates the required maintenance investment to be $20.5 billion annually to eliminate the deficient bridge backlog by 2028. Currently, only $12.8 billion is spent (ASCE, 2013)
Development of new technologies has been encouraged by the government and strategies have been made to prioritize the different maintenance needs with the objective of increasing value for money. Since bridges are complex structures which are constantly subjected to adversities like changing temperatures due to weather change, moisture, and traffic overload therefore frequent bridge inspection is necessary..
There are different inspection levels for various maintenance needs. The lowest tier is security inspection and it is done every year. This inspection is conducted by a slow driving car and visible defects and damage caused by accidents, over-height vehicle impacts, or vandalism are detected. In the second level, general inspection is performed on every two years to collect physical condition data of the all visible members of the bridge. It is performed manually and requires traffic control and heavy equipment on the bridge.
The third level or principal inspection is performed on every 5 – 6 years. It is an in-depth inspection and performed manually by the inspector by closely examining the elements within touching distance. Service tools and instruments like a hammer, paint thickness analyser and instruments to measure crack width and length are used. Sometimes, to know the condition of the subsurface of the concrete, coring is done to collect a sample of the concrete to analyze it in the laboratory.
Traditional methods like coring, chipping and sampling are not very accurate and also damage the integrity of the bridge surface. Therefore, non-destructive testing methods have been utilized to get accurate condition assessment report without damaging the surface. It is also time and cost effective and it requires no lane closures. It assures the safety of the bridge inspection crew and the travelling public.
Infrastructure Preservation Corporation (IPC) has developed many nondestructive testing methods and utilizes them in detailed robotic inspection services. We have taken the inspection service to a new level by introducing robotic technology which further reduces the risks and increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the inspection.
To know more about our latest additions in product and services, you can visit our website https://www.infrastructurepc.com/. We also provide you a free estimate of our services on request. You just need to provide your contact details and our customer support team will get back to your shortly.
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