CORRE, Inc.
Madison | Oconomowoc | Eau Claire | Green Bay | Wittenberg

Underwater Bridge Inspections:
A Deeper Look


November 20th, 2019


Underwater bridge inspections are very important to assuring the safety of the traveling public. Most bridge failures occur because of underwater issues and approximately 83% of bridges on the National Bridge Inventory (NBI) traverse waterways.

With such a large number of bridges spanning open water, it is important to have experienced divers and engineers evaluate underwater bridge elements. These specialized inspections serve to protect the public, provide reliable service, and reduce maintenance and construction costs. Underwater damage, deterioration, and scour-related undermining may not be apparent above water until the damage has become so severe that repair actions are extremely expensive. Early detection of underwater distress allows for cost-effective repairs. Structural engineers can better design repairs when the exact extent of damage is available in detailed underwater inspection reports, resulting in lower bid prices and less contract modifications for the bridge owner.

CORRE, Inc. offers certified dive inspectors who are also experienced professional engineers. This is very beneficial as they understand what to look for and what information will be needed for the rehabilitation planning and design. Since these divers also face a variety of safety concerns such strong currents, floating debris, boating traffic, extreme water temperatures, low visibility, water depths, nearby dams, etc., it is required to have a minimum of three team members on site while performing an underwater inspection. One diver/team leader, one backup diver, and one support personnel are typically required, and depending on the complexity of the dive, more may be necessary. CORRE is able to provide a qualified team for any situation.

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