Most people wonder how engineers maintain the bridges and take corrective measures if required after a proper Bridge Inspection. The most vital responsibility of the transportation department is to maintain the roads and the Bridges to “as constructed’’ standards and make sure to keep them away from the hurdles and obstacles. In order to do this and to maintain the quality and life span of the bridges one must ensure the quality of the raw material used and should create it under professional guidance. Bridge maintenance or repair can be divided into three key categories as follows:
It is essential to make sure the quality of the initial process to create a strong base for the bridge. Bridge maintenance activities include:
1. Scheduled and proper inspection of all moveable and stationery bridges and culverts.
2. Repair and replacement of bridge railing, decks, approaches, and substructures on fixed intervals to ensure safety and security.
3. Bridge maintenance involved a lot of costs to keep the bridges healthy and it is a vicious cycle.
4. Bridge maintenance required long-term commitments/plan to extend their useful life as it will provide the results accordingly.
5. Bridge preservation strategies are essential to keep them in working order and extend their lives.
6. Preventive maintenance is a cost-effective method.
Approaching bridge maintenance more efficiently is vital as almost 40 percent of the bridges in India are at least a half-century old and only 10 percent out of all were structurally deficient (unable to serve their purpose).
With so many bridges reaching out to the end of their planned life cycle or becoming useless, but today people are looking for more cost-effective ways to keep them in good repair. But due to the pressure on the designers as they are forced to be reactive than proactive in their approach. They must repair the damaged structures first with the effective material rather than using the limited resources to keep them in good shape.
The elements of the Preservation program in Bridge Inspection:
1. A long-term commitment to strategies and practical work involved.
2. Access to the right people, tools and equipment to ensure the quality.
3. Processes and procedures to make sure that the work is done on time and on budget.
There are the key elements to keep in mind to preserve the bridge:
1. Washing and cleaning
2. Sealing cracks
3. Sealing deck joints
4. Removing trash
One can use Preventive or preservation techniques to maintain the life cycle of the bridge.
Here are a few cost-effective maintenance activities:
1. Seal or replace leaking joints
2. Repair concrete
3. Install a protection system in advance
4. Frequently treat the area with the care that experience wear and tear.
5. Install scour prevention measures.
6. Have the right knowledge of the equipment.