Bridge Inspection Templates
Perform paperless bridge inspections to ensure bridge safety and serviceability
Perform paperless bridge inspections to ensure bridge safety and serviceability
Published 3 Aug 2021
A bridge inspection is a formal assessment performed by civil engineers and licensed inspectors to appraise a bridge’s working condition. The primary purpose of a bridge inspection is to identify damage, wear, and other deviations so the necessary repair and maintenance work can be performed.
Civil engineers and licensed bridge inspectors can use this checklist when performing routine bridge inspections and check for the following:
This article briefly discusses the following:
A bridge inspection checklist is a document used by licensed inspectors when performing bridge inspections. It serves as a guide to ensure that all aspects of the bridge inspection are performed completely, and as a recording tool to document the inspector’s findings, observations, and recommendations. A typical bridge inspection checklist is manually filled out via pen-and-paper as the engineer performs the inspection.
Bridges all over the world are used by millions of people on a daily basis. Numerous industries, especially those that rely heavily on logistics, benefit from the convenience of having bridges.
Most bridges have been around for a very long time, weathering the impact of the natural environment including storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes over their years of service. No matter how durable a bridge may be, it is not exempt from damage and natural wear. Foregoing bridge inspections means missing critical warning signs which could lead to structural failure, putting the public at risk of high-fatality disasters.
Diligent bridge inspections also help local governments save money. Preventive maintenance is generally less expensive compared to repairs, and timely bridge inspections help engineers spot minor structural issues and resolve them before they turn into high-cost, high-risk problems.
The information gathered from bridge inspections also informs future repair, maintenance, and bridge construction. Having the necessary documentation on a bridge’s performance including tendencies, common causes of damage and deterioration, and residual life expectancy, allows civil engineers to optimize maintenance efforts and build more durable bridges.
Bridges go through different types of inspections depending on their age, condition, and special circumstances such as possible structural damage after a natural catastrophe. Each inspection type is designed to contribute to bridge safety and stability in different aspects of its operation.
Below are the different types of bridge inspections conducted by civil engineers and licensed bridge inspectors:
Bridges are among the most valuable infrastructures in the world. They allow safe passage where it was previously strenuous or not possible. As it helps enable transportation between distant shores, it has also become a key driver of economic activity. It intensifies trade by allowing people to travel so they can purchase goods and services in other communities and beyond.
Bridges, however, like all other structures, decline with time. They gradually deteriorate due to traffic volume and calamities such as earthquakes. As bridges age, they require regular monitoring and maintenance. The lack of which can cause bridges to deteriorate quicker, which can lead to prolonged closure or irreparable damage. When a bridge closes, it significantly impacts the economic activity it enhanced when it was first built.
This is why bridge inspections are crucial in the maintenance of these complex structures. These routine checks provide comprehensive evaluations of bridges’ structural integrity. It serves as a proactive mechanism to identify and address findings (e.g., cracks, corrosion, spalling) before they cause major damage.
As civil engineers and licensed bridge inspectors perform bridge inspections, they usually record their findings and recommendations on a paper bridge inspection checklist. Though paper checklists are still the norm for many inspectors, the emergence of the digital checklist introduced a number of benefits that help streamline the overall bridge inspection process in ways unavailable through manual pen-and-paper means.
Below are some of the reasons why bridge inspections are better with digital checklists:
Certified Inspectors from bridge inspection companies have begun to leverage the benefits of technology to improve the way they conduct inspections. With the aid of bridge inspection software, they have been able to transform their inspection program and eliminate the pains of doing pen-and-paper inspections. From FHWA documentation compliance to improved bridge asset management, here are some ways bridge inspection software have helped bridge safety professionals:
In the US, the FHWA implements the maintenance, inspection, and repair of the hundreds of thousands of public bridges located across the country through the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS); in 2016, the official public bridge count was around 600,000. Of those, almost 40 percent are 50 or more years old.
With that amount of bridges requiring regular upkeep across America, immense effort is needed by the limited number of bridge safety professionals to perform the necessary inspections.
With a bridge inspection software, managing safety inspections is easier due to automation. US bridge inspectors were able to let technology handle the back-office tasks and eliminate the risks of human error, such as mistranscription, illegible handwriting, and lost or destroyed records. Further, consistency between bridge inspections was improved as the inspectors’ checklists are instantly updated once the central template was refurbished by the administrator.
Another disadvantage with pencil-and-paper bridge inspections is that it requires an extensive amount of time and effort to organize all observations, notes, and photos before an initial report is produced.
As there is a need to strictly adhere to the 90-day bridge inventory data entry period, it is vital to have a tool that can help produce reports more efficiently. With electronic data collection and workflow automation via the bridge inspection software, inspectors can immediately have reports ready the moment they complete their inspections. These reports are immediately available through the software in PDF form or via a weblink. By using a bridge inspection app, they’re able to produce reports faster, comply with the reporting requirements, and gain more time to focus on solving problems.
On top of having quicker reports, bridge inspectors also won’t have to worry about recordkeeping as the bridge inspection app takes care of bridge inspection data via cloud storage. By having data stored in the cloud, it is easier to protect crucial bridge information and help the next generation of bridge inspectors maintain the integrity of these complex structures
When it comes to bridge inspection and maintenance, a strong foundation for data management is vital. Bridge inspection software helps provide a structured system of transforming inspection data into insightful information. They no longer need to dig through paperwork to find information on a bridge inspection from years ago. The tool helps them easily assess maintenance frequency or repair requirements and improve overall decision-making.
Bridge inspections are critical when it comes to ensuring an infrastructure’s safety and functionality. Manually gathering data using a paper form is time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. By using iAuditor by SafetyCulture, bridge inspectors can take advantage of the following features to take their inspection process to the next level:
A maintenance work order template is a tool used to outline maintenance order or requests. This template can be used by mechanic and service repair businesses to process client orders and record essential information to complete the work. A maintenance work order template can serve as a guide to what materials, resources and cost involved for the task.
Civil engineers can use this bridge construction checklist to verify if daily safety and pre-task planning has been completed, if emergency plans are being implemented, and if new employees are adequately oriented before starting construction work.