Role Of Bridge Inspection in Bridge Maintenance
Role of bridge inspection in bridge maintenance
A countries Bridges and roadways are their lifeline as these structures keep the economy moving and healthy by allowing goods to get to ports around the world and people to work.
Different vehicles (heavy and lower weight) such as cars, school buses, emergency vehicles,cement trucks etc. cross these structures thousands of times a day which make the concrete and steel vulnerable to deterioration, cracking and other damages.
Bridge inspection involves different inspection methods like aerial work platform and under bridge inspection which is dependent on the type of bridge being inspected and required access like ladder or ropes. Regardless of the method used during bridge inspection, the cost and dangers involved in the process pose a challenge.
Regular bridge inspection is an integral part of bridge maintenance which ensures the safety of the public. For this purpose, bridge decks and supporting structures are checked on regular intervals for any kind of deterioration. In the US the NBIS or national bridge inventory contains over 614,000 of the nations bridges that are inspected on a regular cycle, every two years.
The Bridge inspection team tasked with inspecting the structure, rates the bridge on the scale of zero to nine. A nine rating depicts the excellent condition of the bridge and overall rating of four or below shows that the bridge is structurally deficient and in need of remedial action.
For decades this work has been conducted manually by parking a bucket truck on the bridge or walking the bridge and visually inspecting. Bridge inspections have not kept up with technology and as the government is slow in adopting new technologies and methodologies these structures are now falling apart faster than we can fix them. What’s more if you do not have accurate information, how do you properly allocate assets, budgets and resources to properly schedule maintenance.
Updating 50 year old Manual inspections with modern technology and robotics is critical the health of bridges worldwide.
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