Maintenance and management of a bridge involves several important tasks. If you are a bridge owner, you should regularly conduct bridge inspection programs to check whether the structure is safe for the users. Deciding how frequently you should arrange an underwater inspection program could be a little confusing. The condition of the structure and several other factors need to be considered when deciding how frequently you should hire commercial diving services. It is always a good idea to employ an acclaimed underwater commercial diving service provider like UCC Dive for your bridge inspection program. Leading underwater service providers usually have a team of well-trained commercial divers. They know when and how to plan an operation.
Planning Underwater Bridge Inspections
Leading underwater bridge inspection service providers would be able to tell you when you should go for an inspection. They check important details about the bridge to decide on this. Some factors that are taken into consideration include the age and configuration of the structure, its maintenance records, the types of construction materials used, and whether it is located close to a dam or dike. Here is how they usually plan an operation.
Setting the goal – It is important to set the goal of an inspection program before getting started. Underwater commercial diving experts usually start by setting the goal. The next step is to form a team. Leading service providers usually employ highly skilled divers in the team. It is very important to include only qualified underwater commercial diving professionals in the team. Once the team is formed, a project kick-off meeting is held with all members of the team. The idea is to communicate the goal to all team members.
Research – Collecting necessary information about the bridge is very important. Ideally, the team collects information about construction materials used in the structure, past records of the structure, and waterway conditions. They may also need to create a prototype of the structure for better planning.
Risk Analysis – When planning an underwater inspection operation, the team should do a risk analysis. Some common areas of investigation include
- Depth of the water
- Temperature of the water
- Whether the water is contaminated
- Swift currents
- Marine wildlife
- Construction operations
- Whether there are ice floes or fixed ice
- The types of debris found under the water
- Watercraft operations
Ensuring Safety of Operation – The next step is to plan how to conduct the operation safely. In this stage of planning, different tasks are allocated to different team members. Members can discuss about their roles and responsibilities and interchange certain assignments in this stage of planning. Having a clear idea about the inspection procedures and objectives is essential. It is also important for the members to review the potential risks and decide how they should go about handing the risks.
Finally, the inspection team should make a list of all necessary equipment and tools, and make sure that those are available. Bridge owners should make sure that they hire an acclaimed underwater service provider for a bridge inspection operation.