The bridges in the United States are getting older. Most of the nation's bridge spans average thirty-nine years old. Ratings for bridge safetyare at an all-time low, a big threat to driver welfare.
A bridge inspection is straightforward. Each bridge structure in the US needs to undergo an inspection every other year, but bridge inspections are falling behind. This is mostly the result of the large number of bridges, old and recent, combined with massively strained government road budgets. Clearly, as more bridges and overpasses are erected the funds and work crews required to maintain them also increases.
While the need for new new bridge structure is sorely needed, a bridge inspector must contend with the eventual failures of our current bridge structures first.
One of the most serious problems with inspecting bridges is gaining access to the bridge in a safe manner. The the snooper truck is designed to hoist inspectors to hard to reach areas of large bridges. But the snooper truck is not the only capable snooper equipment available.
Recent breakthroughs in bridge inspection technologies might help close the gap in the near future to make inspecting bridges safer, less costly and much more thorough than ever before.
Bridges that would not have been inspected before without unsafe road closings or expensive downtime can now be inspected in a matter of days. These new technologies permit inspection teams to access bridges without disturbing the environment or putting wildlife in danger. As the expense of bridge inspections lessens while advanced equipment is more prevalent, our bridges can be repaired to hold up on into the future.