September 27, 2022

Most modern bridges are designed with a 50- to 70-year life span.

The average age of a bridge in the United States is 47 years old. 

But bridges, like people, can age safely and gracefully with the right care and maintenance

In a paper presented at the International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management in 2002, Branko Glisic, Daniele Inaudi and Samuel Vurpillot state,

“The most safe and durable structures are usually those that are well managed. Measurement and monitoring have an essential role in structural management.” 

Traditional structural measurement and monitoring practices rely heavily on visual inspection and manual measurements. 

But as Yelda Turkan, Ph.D. and Dimon Laflamme, Ph.D., PE argue, those current methods are tedious, unreliable, and prone to human error. Visual inspection fails to deliver reliable measurements, particularly of complex geometries, and is time consuming both on site and in the office. Not only is the process of gathering data about a structure’s integrity during a visual inspecting difficult and long, but the data produced from visual inspection is bulky and complicated to work with back in the office. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Laser scanning revolutionizes the process of bridge inspection. 

With a laser scanner like the P50 from Leica Geosystems, a small team of inspectors can gather a complete set of data in radically less time than they could using traditional methods. This data is millimetre accurate and reaches into even the most complex angles, nooks, and crannies. 

Once gathered, this data can be seamlessly uploaded to a cloud-based server for manipulation, evaluation, and decision-making back in the office. 

Using Cyclone ENTERPRISE, users can always rely on easily accessible, up to date access to their point cloud data, for quick sharing with all project stakeholders. 

Even if a bridge is creeping up on 50 years old, the way we care for it shouldn’t be stuck in the past too.