Our nation's bridges are getting old. Many of the nation's bridge spans average thirty-nine years old. Bridge ratingsare declining quickly, threatening public safety.
Rules for inspecting bridges are straightforward. Every bridge in the US should undergo an inspection at least once every 2 years, but bridge inspection teams are not proceeding as scheduled. This is mostly due to the extensive quantity of bridges, recent and old, combined with heavily strained local road budgets. Clearly, as more bridges are erected the funding and professional inspectors needed to maintain them likewise increases.
As the necessity for updated bridges increases is sorely needed, bridge inspectors must handle the eventual failures of our current bridge structures first.
One of the most serious issues with bridge checkup is getting onto bridge structures in a safe manner. This is generally accomplished using a multitude of bridge checkup apparatus and the snooper truck, created to lift inspection crews to difficult points of large bridge structures. Fortunately the snooper truck isn't the only viable truck equipment available.
Advances in bridge inspection technologies may help close the gap in coming years making bridge inspection less hazardous, cheaper and much more thorough than ever before.
Bridge spans that could never be accessed in the past except by using dangerous lane closures or costly personnel can now be inspected in a matter of days. This new technology allows inspectors to access bridge structures without harming environmental conditions or endangering nesting wildlife. As the expense of inspecting bridges comes down and advanced equipment becomes easier to access, our bridges can be repaired to hold up on into the next century.