We can perform faster, smarter bridge inspections safer and at a lower cost. We can re-train experienced inspectors to get the value of their experience along with more quantitative data at a lower price than ever before.
Regarding budgets..This is the United States of America. One of the wealthiest countries with one the largest economy in the world. We may not have the money to make all repairs and replacements in the budgets in every state today, at this moment, but we certainly do have the money to pay for proper inspections to locate the most severe issues, if allocated funds were directed properly and inspections updated and conducted properly. How much more expensive is it to wait for a bridge to collapse.
How much better do you think you could budget for repairs…How many more repairs do you think you could make with the same taxpayer dollar if we utilized technology and had more quantitative data to work with?
IPC’s BridgeScan® costs the same price to scan an entire bridge deck that a manual visual inspection costs. The difference is that IPC scans the entire bridge deck and approach roadway. It can tell you cover thickness, rebar placement, delamination, debonding, compactness of gravel and soil, find voids, water intrusion and more.
This device and the subsequent report can also provide quantity of materials required for repair and budgets per bridge to make those repairs.
How much further do you think you can stretch that taxpayer dollar knowing what needs to be fixed, where and how severe that issue actually is on each of your structures. The ability to look at deterioration progression over time during subsequent inspections…
How do you perform a better bridge inspection??? It starts by having the desire to.
The cost of not doing so is much greater… to the nations economy and public safety.
Management and allocation of resources and budgets may be the immediate cry, but their is certainly enough money to conduct proper inspections if to was a priority.
In fact it may not be a matter of spending more money at all, but in conducting more modern inspections that cost less, produce more data and enable a much more efficient budgeting of maintenance and repairs.
It is certainly sexier to build bridges than conduct maintenance and there are certainly bridges being built all over the USA from the $1.2 billion Gerold Desmond bridge in California to the newly finished Tapanzee.
Maintenance and repairs certainly wont win any votes but why not collect the critical data that can help the department of transportation properly budget for and conduct the necessary repairs.
One of the questions that so frequently arises is how do we quickly without years of government bureaucracy move from manual visual inspections to utilizing modern technologies and inspection methods that can cut the inspection to a fraction of the cost and supply more quantitative data for the asset owners to make more efficient budgetary decisions for repairs and maintenance with a higher degree of safety?
The answer is by utilizing technology today that has been proven in the field and where multiple inspectors can realize consistent results and that can replace current methods at the whim of the project manager, maintenance supervisor or department of transportation lead. Every department of Transportation contract allows the DOT to pull any part of a contract from any asset manager or vendor if it is in the public’s interest. As far as I know public safety is in the public interest.