Bridge Inspection

Big Mac Bridge cable inspections

Inspectors devised rope access techniques to successfully inspect the cables on the Big Mac Bridge, which required arduous climbing.

Article May 03, 2019
In September 2016, Michael Baker International performed a routine and hands-on fracture-critical inspection of the Daniel Carter Beard (Big Mac) Bridge, which carries I-471 and more than 100,000 vehicles each day between Newport, Ky., and Cincinnati, Ohio.   A full-length inspection of the bridge’...
I-80 bridges over Des Plaines River, Joliet, Illinois
News April 19, 2019
The Illinois DOT (IDOT) announced that regularly scheduled inspections of the I-80 bridges over the Des Plaines River in Joliet are set to begin April 29.   Daily lane closures will be required, starting with the westbound bridge until May 6, when inspections begin on the eastbound bridge....
bridge inspection; bridge analysis
News April 15, 2019
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently published the second edition of its Manual for Bridge Element Inspection (MBEI) reference guide.   The new reference guide replaces two current AASHTO publications, including the first edition of the MBEI,...
Arlington Memorial Bridge

Image: ARTBA

News April 03, 2019
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) analysis of the recently released U.S. DOT 2018 National Bridge Inventory (NBI) database reveals that 47,052 of U.S. bridges are classified as structurally deficient and in poor condition.   Vehicles of all kinds cross these...
Mississippi DOT emergency bridge closures

Image: Mississippi DOT

News March 27, 2019
Under the authority of Gov. Phil Bryant’s April 2018 emergency bridge closure proclamation, the Mississippi DOT (MDOT) today was directed to begin immediately closing at least 34 local bridges.   “If these bridges remain open, it will not only present a safety hazard to the traveling public but...
Mackinac Bridge in Michigan; bridge monitoring sensors

Image: Justin Billau [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

News March 12, 2019
Researchers in the state of Michigan are planning to install up to 2,000 infrastructure sensors on the Mackinac Bridge in order to explore the logistics of a large-scale deployment and provide useful monitoring data to the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA).    According to a press release from the...
I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge

Image: Chamber of Southwest Louisiana

News January 28, 2019
The Chamber of Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) recently released recommendations for their I-10 Bridge Task Force for the Calcasieu River Bridge.   These recommendations, which were approved by the Chamber board on Tuesday, provide the state with a well-researched, detailed action plan to tackle the...
Sharid K. Amiri
Article November 19, 2018
California, the fifth largest economy in the world and the most populous state in the union, is considered a seismic-prone state where earthquakes play an important role in shaping the design and construction of the infrastructure, critical to its economic well-being. The 1994 Northridge and the...
Several people reported dead after bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy

Source: screen capture,

News August 14, 2018
At least 37 people have died after a section of a highway bridge in northern Italy partially collapsed Tuesday, according to Italian officials.   CNN reports that Angelo Borrelli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Agency, told journalists that around 30 vehicles and several heavy-duty trucks...
Shakopee, Minn., pedestrian bridge inspection

The senseFly Albris drone inspecting a pedestrian bridge in Shakopee, Minn.

Article July 05, 2018
The ability to collect and process large amounts of data is transforming our world.   Many industries including healthcare, finance, energy, communication and transportation are finding ways to utilize data to improve people’s lives. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), in...
FIU bridge
News May 14, 2018
The Miami Herald has reportedly obtained documents from Florida International University (FIU) through a public records request that indicate cracks were observed in the newly installed campus pedestrian bridge two weeks before its deadly collapse.   Photographs and an internal email that had...
News May 03, 2018
This October, the 4th Annual Commercial UAV Expo trade show will host a variety of unmanned aerial system (UAS) vendors showcasing airframes, components, software and services all focused on commercial applications.   The event, which was recently recognized by Trade Show Network News as one of the...
UAV drones
News April 26, 2018
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is adding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to help its engineering staff safely and more efficiently inspect bridges and perform surveying work along state highways.   Through a federal innovative technology grant, ADOT has eight new aerial drones that...
Angus L. Macdonald

Photographer: Lynn Fergusson

Article November 01, 2017
For Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge has been an iconic structure for more than 60 years. Years that, as the bridge spans an occasionally rough and always popular Atlantic waterway (Halifax Harbour), had taken a significant toll. As noted in our May 2017 issue (“A new life for...
Bent 1 cap demo

The pier replacement was a success on Bent 1 of Ramp C on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Article November 01, 2017
The sustained focus on rebuilding our transportation infrastructure is accompanied by an objective that rivals controlling project costs: Keep the traffic in motion.   At Ramp C to the Brooklyn Bridge, an innovative temporary support system was engineered to enable replacement of failing concrete...
Federal UAV pilot program to expand drone use
News October 26, 2017
President Trump and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao have announced the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, an initiative aimed at exploring expanded use of drones. The new program will allow companies and local governments to use drones in ways that the Federal Aviation...
UAV bridge inspection
Article October 05, 2017
Drones. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Regardless of how they are referred, these highly versatile machines continue to gain traction, expanding beyond recreational use into commercial applications.   The civil engineering industry is a leader, exploring uses for the...
California I-110
Article September 07, 2017
It was all cracks . . . not a breakthrough. There was nothing uncovered about the top seven bridges on the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Most Traveled U.S. Structurally Deficient Bridges, 2016, list. Nor did it require any real innovation to remedy.   The bridge...
small town america
News August 25, 2017
In testimony before the Senate Transportation Committee, Mississippi County Engineer Jeff Dungan indicated that federal inspectors are presently targeting more than 2,000 county bridges that have wood supports, and that a likely result of this attention would be the closure of hundreds of such...
hard hat in front of bridge

Photo source: 123rf/kittiyaporn10

News March 27, 2017
A team of research technicians from the Bowen Laboratory at Purdue University’s Lyles College of Civil Engineering recently employed a sensor system developed by the Bridge Engineering Center at Iowa State University on the CR 250 E bridge in Lebanon, Ind., for a load bearing test that could...
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