Bridge bearing condition services
James Fisher Testing Services (JFTS) can provide comprehensive bridge bearing condition investigation and offer data-driven analysis on the remaining life of the structure or the need for maintenance.
Bridge bearings are known to deteriorate as corrosion, debris and wear can lead to resistance which is not intended in the bridge superstructure or substructure components. This can lead to problems exasperating where unplanned loads are imposed and leading to other parts of the structure also suffering.
Bridge bearings can also provide tell-tale signs of other effects to the bridge. Movements such as foundation settlement can be seen in bearings with abnormal offset positions or even coming out of contact. Only by looking at the collective bridge performance can this be demonstrated.
Bearing replacement schemes are typically troublesome and expensive, involving significant temporary works. If bearing replacement schemes can safely be delayed, extending their useful life without incurring additional risk, then the benefits to budget, safety and the environment are significant.
JFTS offers impartial advice as to the condition of bearings quantified through inspection, non-destructive testing and dynamic monitoring. Scoped and analysed by Chartered Civil Engineers, we can develop an approach bespoke to each bridge specifications. We will review the performance of each bearing individually and collectively within the bridge, as they respond to temperature and live load effects.
JFTS can offer a range of inspection, investigation and monitoring services, including:
- Detailed visual inspection of bearings
- Inspection of expansion joints, structural components and other influencing parts
- Measurement of bearing displacement offset, mapped throughout the bridge to compare thermal displacement at a point in time
- Ultrasonic investigation for cracking or corrosion
- Investigation of bolts including detection of defects hidden inside joints or concrete
- High-speed monitoring of bearing movements, displaying response to temperature variation and vehicle loads
- Interpretive review for bearing condition and its effects on the structure
- Recommendations for the longevity of remaining life, maintenance needed or replacement programme