Our nation's bridges are growing older. Most of the nation's bridge spans average thirty-nine years of age. Ratings for bridge qualityare declining quickly, threatening driving safety.
A bridge inspection is clear. Each bridge structure in the United States needs to undergo an inspection at least once every 2 years, but bridge inspection teams are falling behind.
While the concern for updated new bridge design is sorely needed, a bridge inspector must contend with the inevitable failures of our existing bridges before evaluating new bridge construction.
Among the most serious issues with inspecting bridges is gaining access to the bridge safely. The the snooper truck is created to hoist inspection personnel to difficult points of large bridges. But this isn't the only capable equipment truck around.
Advances in bridge inspection technologies may be paving the way in the near future making inspecting bridges less hazardous, less costly and much more thorough than in the past.
Bridges that would not have been accessed in the past except by using dangerous road closings or expensive downtime can now go through inspection in days instead of weeks. This new technology permits inspection teams to inspect bridges while not harming the environment or endangering nesting wildlife. As the expense of bridge inspections lessens while technology is more prevalent, our bridge structures can be repaired to handle traffic on into the future.