No one in the highway bridge construction, inspection, or maintenance industries would argue that bridge inspections are absolutely essential and critical. They would also agree that these inspections are instrumental for ensuring and preserving the safety and integrity of our nation’s highway infrastructure.
However, the truth is that there’s much more to keeping bridges safe, functional, and operating. And the tasks involved often require a wide variety of tools and techniques.
But many of them still rely on a common piece of equipment that highway bridge inspectors use on a regular basis: under bridge platform equipment.
Repair, Rehabilitate, and Rebuild: America’s Highway Bridge Mission
The recent bipartisan Infrastructure Law was written and instituted with the goal of “rebuilding” America’s roads, bridges and rails.
As the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure website recently posted,
The bill provides $550 billion in NEW spending on our nation’s infrastructure over the next five years, including:
- $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects.
- $66 billion for passenger and freight rail.
The report noted, too, that the intent of the legislation is to “modernize our roads, bridges, transit, rail,” and other transportation and utilities infrastructure.
This is, in many ways, an incredible boon to the much-needed rehabilitation of the nation’s roadways and bridges. As Investopedia noted in an overview of the bill,
“Chronic underinvestment has turned crumbling U.S. infrastructure into a public safety problem as well as an economic liability…
However, while the phrase “rebuilding our infrastructure” is used liberally when discussing the funding and projects involved in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, on a more granular level, what is going to be needed involves a bit more.
In other words, because the current state of our highway and railway bridges, for example, run the gamut of Good to Fair to Poor, with a few bordering on being ‘Structurally Deficient’ or even ‘Functionally Obsolete.’
In other words, the work required ranges from simple repairs to being completely replaced – and everything in between. In fact, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) 2022 Bridge Report, of the almost 620,000 highway bridges in the United States, 78,800 bridges should be replaced.
That leaves another 150,000 or so bridges in need of rehabilitation and repair.
U.S. Highway Bridges: New Work and Ongoing Work
What is readily apparent to those who make their living working on highway bridges is that the work is constant and never ending. This new surge of infrastructure projects resulting from newly available federal funding will simply add to the current workload. And, in some cases, it may accelerate some of the back-logged work that is greatly needed.
Even without the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, bridge workers routinely engage in a variety of tasks on bridge structures including:
- Sandblasting and Painting
- Under-bridge repairs
- Stripping operations
- Bearings replacement and maintenance
- Installation and maintenance of under-bridge cables and pipes
- and general maintenance
This is significant in one respect in that the work being done often requires the use of specialized aerial access equipment. Much like engineers and state DOT personnel who must carry out routine and other types of bridge inspections, contractors and workers must get above and underneath bridges to work.
And this is most commonly accomplished with an under bridge platform vehicle.
New Bridge Construction Also Requires Under Bridge Access
There are situations even during the construction or rebuilding of highway bridges where under bridge access equipment is required.
As an article from BuilderSpace points out,
“While the type of equipment used depends on a particular project, some tools are best suited for specific purposes, while others form basic equipment for bridge construction. Equipment used in bridge construction includes bridge access machinery like cranes and aerial lifts.”
So, if you’re fortunate enough to be involved in a new bridge construction project, or an extensive rebuild of an existing bridge, you can rest assured that when you need that under bridge access vehicle you’re in good hands with Under Bridge Platforms.
Let Under Bridge Platforms Be Your Bridge Work Equipment Partner
As access equipment experts at Under Bridge Platforms we proudly 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.
Our large and expansive inventory of under bridge access platforms includes world-class self-drive access platforms such as the versatile Aspen Aerials UB-60 Bridge Inspection Unit and the HPT 43 Truck Mounted Platform.
As a professional firm you can rely on us to guide you through the process of buying or renting the right under bridge platform vehicle and equipment. No matter the size or type of bridge work 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.
And we work hard to keep it that way.