Bridge inspection is a great concern in the United States. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has stated that nearly 56,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. This means that at least one one of the key elements of a bridge, such as its deck, superstructure or substructure,has been labeled as “poor” or in “worse condition”. Almost half of the states in the U.S. have at least 9% of their bridges structurally deficient. Between all states, more than 25% of bridges (roughly 174,000) were reported as being at least 50 years old without having undergone any major construction work.
This is a great concern for us. The safety concerns revolving around bridges is critical. There is a general consensus among officials that we need to find new ways to fund bridges because our current funding methods aren’t enough to support the costs of construction. This data also enlightens us on the idea that we might need improved bridge inspection to ensure accurate data is gathered, shared, and analyzed at a rapid pace. There are a number of reasons why bridge inspectors should be using mobile forms and apps for a bridge inspection.
Easily Document Bridge Conditions And Structures With Photos
Inspections done on paper aren’t easy. It’s harder to see the extent of damage, and it’s easier to put off improvements. Using digital cameras means spending time getting photos off the camera, printing them, attaching them to the inspection report, and then storing them in a filing cabinet.
Using mobile forms lets inspectors complete bridge inspection forms and add photos to the report at the same time. This removes the need for an extra device, and prevents wasting time compiling photos into a report later.
Prove An Inspection Happened
Using mobile forms, a GPS and time stamp can be required as part of the inspection process. This way, you can be sure inspectors are where they need to be during the inspection on-site.
Standardize Inspection Process
Mobile forms also can be arranged so that various fields need to be filled out in a particular sequence, or else the inspector can’t progress. This helps to standardize the bridge inspection process is completed the right way, with no error or confusion.
Get Data Back In Real-Time
With paper bridge inspection forms, someone fills them out and brings them to the office, over and over again. It can be physically exhausting. Then the forms need to be scanned in a computer, or even transcribed by hand into another system! This takes a great deal of time and resources.
With mobile bridge inspections, data is caught using mobile devices and stored in the cloud so it can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
Digital Data + Easier Analysis
Imagine sifting through all sorts of inspection forms and trying to determine the most prominent concerns with the deck or substructure? Not to mention you will need to filter by location, temperature, time of year, and other factors. You’re also doing this with potentially nonoptimal data.
Digital inspection data means dashboards can be set up so you can view data at an aggregate level for a plethora of fields and conditions. It is much easier to analyze digital data, look for trends among bridges, then prioritize certain issues so that action can be taken.
Let Concrete Visions Handle Your Projects
Concrete Vision has over 25 years of experience in the industry. When the age and condition of reinforced concrete structures need to be assessed, we use ground penetrating radar (GPR) which offers an accurate and non-destructive method of analysis. Our experts are highly skilled and trained to use this GPR technology in order to accurately assess the age and condition of bridge decks and balconies.
If you are interested in our services, you can visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.