Bridges break.


Or, more accurately, bridges get broken. Whether it’s from accidents, age, or some other natural or man-made cause, bridges endure occasional damage. And


And that means bridge repair work.


The vast majority of highway bridges in the United States are relatively close to the ground, in terms of vertical access, and this often makes repairs and maintenance work easier to complete.


Others, of course, are quite high above whatever terrain or waterway they happen to traverse.


Regardless of their height, however, having the right equipment to provide that vertical access is crucial.


A Brief Look at the Not-So-Standardized Highway Bridge Height Standards


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As most every bridge worker, contractor, and engineer knows, the Federal Highway Administration sets bridge clearances at 14 to 16 feet, unless a special design exception is obtained.


For interstate bridges in particular, this is intended to ensure clearance for standard semi trucks which are limited in height to be under 13’- 6“. However, individual states often have different standards of their own.


And, when it comes to maximum height limits for maximum height regulation on commercial motor vehicles, states do have their own restrictions.


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As interstate long haul drivers are aware, state laws east of the Minnesota-Dakotas state line south plus Oklahoma have maximum heights of 13 and a half feet. The western region, however, has a maximum height at 14 feet.


In addition, the western states of Colorado and Nebraska have maximum heights of 14 feet, while the great state of Alaska allows for 15-foot tall load height maximums.


While somewhat rare, these minor disparities do occasionally lead to collisions with the lower portion of highway bridge decks. 


What is likely more prevalent, however, are unfortunate mishaps with recreational vehicles, or RVs.


As an article from Roaming Times points out,

“RVs are not commercial motor vehicles subject to federal size regulations. Even though there are no RV restrictions at the federal level, many states have laws or regulations that apply to RVs. In Georgia and many other states, the restrictions don’t distinguish between commercial vehicles and non-commercial vehicles.”


And since local and state bridges don’t have to abide by the federal regulations, there are many that will be significantly lower. This is particularly true for structures that are farther from major commercial areas.


Under Bridge Access: Not All Bridges Can be Accessed from Below


Not every bridge is the same. 


While that might go without saying, too many contractors, engineers, and state DOTs make the mistake of relying on the same equipment for bridge access. This can lead to costly delays and even unsafe practices when using equipment that is not suitable for that task at hand.


Which is why firms like Under Bridge Platforms specializes in providing a wide variety of under bridge access platforms for our clients.


Many lower bridges, like those with an under bridge surface between 13.5 to, say, 20 feet above the ground, can be accessed by a bucket truck or some other type of smaller boom lift or aerial lift.


As long as there is no active roadway or railway on that ground, that is.


Bridges that traverse a body of water or river cannot be accessed from below, in most cases, although a barge platform might be used, as well as rope rigging or suspended scaffolding.


And then there are highway bridges that tower over valley floors, active roadways, and bodies of water. Under bridge access for the purpose of bridge repairs, maintenance, or inspections on these structures is usually best achieved with truck- or trailer-mounted under bridge platforms.


When your repair or maintenance work requires work alongside or under bridges, the proper access equipment is a must for being able to carry out the work quickly, safely, and efficiently.


And versatile and reliable under bridge inspection platform units are the equipment you need.


These truck- and trailer-mounted equipment provide extensive working reach upward, outward, downward, and, of course, underneath a bridge deck level. And it is these necessary and essential capabilities that make for highly flexible, safe, and versatile inspection and maintenance work activities.


For Bridge Repair Access Equipment We Provide the Best – From the Plains to the West


Under Bridge Platforms serves all of the Western States, including California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming to provide quality under bridge equipment.


Our large and expanding inventory of under bridge access platforms includes state-of-the-art bridge access platforms such as the versatile Truck Mounted Hydra Platform HPT38 and the rugged Skyjack SJB-66TK self-propelled unit.


There are a variety of different bridge inspection platform vehicles featuring multiple capabilities. In addition, determining the best choice for your work or project also depends on both the structure and the terrain.


So, while cost is certainly important, the vehicle capabilities and your specific project needs should be the dominant deciding factors in your equipment rental decision.


With a professional firm you can rely on to guide you through the process, buying or renting the right under bridge inspection vehicle and bridge inspection platform equipment for your project means we are here to help you make the proper selection.


We are proud to be the only company in our industry based in California that offers total under bridge access. By offering high quality customer service, we have managed to build long-lasting relationships with our esteemed customers.


And we work hard to keep it that way.


Contact us today and let us help you with your under bridge platform and bridge access needs.