At James Fisher we can provide a range of monitoring and testing solutions to support a comprehensive programme of inspection and maintenance for bridges.
Current guidance recommends a programme of General Inspections every two years and Principal Inspections every six years, in order to check the condition of the bridge to ensure that is safe to use and fit for purpose. This process can be supplemented by a range of testing techniques that can identify defects that are not apparent with a visual inspection. For example NDT (non-destructive testing), materials sampling and intrusive surveys can provide information on cracks in welds, chloride penetration or corrosion of steel reinforcement and pre-stressing wires. However inspection relies on robust processes, expert personnel, consistent recording and appraisal of any defects and effective data management and analytics.
Clearly understanding the materials and design of the bridge is fundamental to ensuring an appropriate inspection and test programme. Last year CIRIA launched a report titled “Hidden defects in bridges. Guidance for detection and maintenance (C764)”, which uses case studies – including a number from JFTS - to highlight the range and nature of defects that can go undetected in critical bridge components. This helps bridge managers to develop a more detailed knowledge of the risks associated with hidden defects in a variety of bridge designs and materials and they can determine the most appropriate course of action for managing those risks .