It’s not news to anyone working with or on highway bridges that there’s much work to be done. In addition to routine inspections for the more than 610,000 highway bridges across the country, there are necessary maintenance and upkeep tasks that must be done.
And periodic repairs and occasional “upgrades” are required, such as the recent addition of 10 miles of steel wires for adding tension to both sides of the West Seattle Bridge (WSB), along with sensors to provide engineers real-time updates while the Seattle DOT finished additional structural updates.
The Need for Routine Bridge Inspections: A Case in Point
According to the official City of Seattle website,
“In 2020, we closed the high bridge in the interest of public safety. We made this decision based on regular inspections of the bridge, which showed rapidly growing cracks. Since the closure, we’ve wasted no time, working to repair the high bridge and to plan and build projects across affected neighborhoods that will reduce impacts on local communities… We announced that we would repair the bridge instead of replacing it with a new span.”
At 140 feet high and over 2,600 feet long, it is not a small structure. In contrast, for example, most highway overpasses are just 12 to 20 feet wide or so, and often no more than the legal minimum clearance in height, that being 14 to 16 feet, per the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
These bridges, which number in the tens of thousands, must be inspected regularly, as do all other highway bridges over 20 feet in length.
However, as we are well aware, many of the bridges are in poor condition.
According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), there are 167.5 million daily crossings on 43,578 structurally deficient United States bridges in “poor” condition. That means that almost one in three bridges that need repair or replacement, including 30 percent of the bridges on interstates.
These relatively smaller highway bridges, including a vast number of interstate and freeway overpasses require specialized under bridge platforms to facilitate inspections. But not the largest pieces of equipment available necessarily.
When Under Bridge Access Requires Smaller, But Versatile Bridge Inspection Units
Under bridge access equipment vendors such as Under Bridge Platforms, for example. Often can provide massive bridge inspection units with incredible reach capacities.
Take the Anderson Hydra Platforms HPT 66 as an example.
This massive truck-mounted under bridge platform can lower a work platform 22 feet below a bridge deck and then extend that platform up to 66 feet underneath a bridge structure. This allows for more than 4,000 square feet of under bridge access from one point off the bridge deck.
But smaller bridges, of which there are many, cannot accommodate such a large unit nor is one that size necessary in most cases.
Which is where under bridge access units such as the Aspen Aerials A-30 comes in handy.
The Aspen Aerials A-30 Bridge Inspection Unit: When Time and Agility Matter
The nimble and versatile A-30 is a relatively small under bridge access platform but still offers an impressive amount of reach. It only takes up eight and a half feet of space on the bridge deck yet can lower its platform down to as much as 40 feet below the deck.
In addition, the booms can raise a bucket overhead with a vertical reach of 30 feet, as well. And the optional maintenance platform measuring three and a half feet wide can extend up to 17 feet underneath the bridge.
And, since the A-30’s platforms can be deployed from both sides of the truck, this allows crews and inspectors to reach both sides of the under bridge area without having to move and reposition the unit.
As any experienced bridge inspector or contractor is aware, matching up the available tools and equipment with the task at hand and the bridge structure involved is key to the timely, safe, and successful completion of a project.
As is making use of the best provider and vendor of necessary under bridge platforms.
For the Best in Under Bridge Platforms and Bridge Access Equipment
The need for gaining under bridge access is an ongoing one for engineers, inspectors, and contractors conducting bridge work. And this includes work involved in the inspecting, the maintaining, and repairing of all highway bridges.
Which means having reliable under bridge access is also a regular part of your line of work.
The experts at Under Bridge Platforms are proud to serve all of the Western States, including California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming, by providing the best selection of high quality under bridge access equipment.
We are a professional equipment provider you can rely on us to guide you through the process of buying or renting the right under bridge inspection vehicle and equipment. No matter the size or type of project, the team at Under Bridge Platforms is here to help you make the proper selection.
We take a great deal of pride in being the only company in our industry based in California that offers total under bridge access. Because we believe in providing only quality customer service, we have managed to build long-lasting relationships with our esteemed customers.
Contact us today and let us help take care of all your under bridge platform needs.