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Bridge Inspection & Assessment

Inspections extend bridge lifespans. Diligent inspection programs and strategic maintenance plans are critical to help extend a bridge’s lifespan...

Stantec’s bridge inspection professionals understand every aspect of bridge management and apply this knowledge to help our clients assess the safety of their in-service bridges while increasing reliability and structure service life. Our work helps them reduce monitoring, maintenance, and reconstruction/replacement costs. Before we conduct an inspection, we look for the best methods to access the structure as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Specialized techniques like SPRAT-certified rope access and using dive teams give us hands-on access to critical locations on bridges that are otherwise difficult to see or where using traffic control or standard access equipment is not feasible. As a result, we can provide our clients with more detailed inspections, increasing accuracy and structure safety, and minimizing traffic disruptions.

  • 45
    NBIS Certified Inspectors
  • 15
    SPRAT-certified inspectors

Engineers on rope

A conversation with Stantec's Ryan Nataluk about our Rope Access Engineering services.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>Ryan nataluk</p> <p>There’s many ways to access bridges and structures. Some bridges are set up more traditionally where we have to use more mechanical access equipment and ladders and bucket trucks and things like that, and many engineering firms can do that. But where my niche lies and our group lies is we use rope access techniques on bridges that are more suited for climbing</p> <p>My crews and I, we inspect bridges all around the US and sometimes help our Canadian offices to look at them for safety to ensure they’re safe for the travelling public</p> <p>We are structural engineers on rope, so we are engineers that know the background of structures, how they’re built, and we know how the materials deteriorate over time. We can specifically tell a client how to repair something, how to fix it, and how to keep it in service for longer.</p> <p>our climbing techniques are fast and efficient. We don’t need any traffic control which costs a lot of money to set up. We don’t need mechanical equipment which are large pieces of equipment to put in the roadways. We don’t utilize that so we’re out of the way and we get it done faster and cheaper</p> <p>Most of our clients are departments of transportation, and then we have a lot of private clients. We’ve been doing work for railroads and other infrastructure holders or owners, tower owners, tank owners, things like that. People that have infrastructure that are hard to access and can utilize our structural engineering services along with our rope access services to evaluate their structures</p> <p>So really what we do is we try to help the client plan for maintenance and rehabilitation over the life of the structure to make sure their investment, they get the full life out of their investment.</p> <p>A typical climbing team is a&nbsp; minimum of four people, but we’ve had climbing teams of up to eight people. For instance we just inspected a bridge in west Virginia that took a team of eight people. We had eight different engineers from five different Stantec offices around the United States and Canada. It was our a-team climbing team you should say, and it took eight of us seven days to climb a bridge in west Virginia over the ohio river.</p> <p>Safety while we’re out in the field is the number one thing we think about. Bridge inspection can be hazardous because you are working in traffic, you’re out and about, there are a lot of things going on both physically and with the weather environment, it could be very cold, it could be very hot, it could be windy and rainy, but we take a lot of precautions to ensure our safety.</p> <p>Right now we have a 100% safety record, but we have a very detailed process, assembling site safety plans, we have team meetings on how we’re going to go about climbing and repelling each element. We talk about each situation you could get in doing that, and what a rescue would entail if someone got in trouble in some certain situations.</p> <p>you are hanging by ropes, but as long as you know what you’re doing and you know the gear and you have the right training, it’s probably safer than walking across the street.</p> <p>The work we do, it’s very exciting, and there’s always different challenges day by day. One day I might be in the office checking a report or checking calculations, and the next day I might be using rope access techniques to inspect bridges in Nevada, or Colorado or west Virginia, or even Canada.</p> <p>we work very close together and so we really have formed a good bond, with our clients and within the group, so that’s why I stay at Stantec.</p>

#mystantecstory - Drew Houser, Bridge Inspector

My Name is Drew Houser, and I make a living hanging off of large bridges!

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>Drew:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I had an actual inclination in high school towards math and sciences and that continued on into college. I really got excited about looking at big structures including the structure we're standing on today, the Hoover Dam bypass. This is technically a rope access inspection. In order to get to some of the members on this structure, we actually have to utilize a combination of different techniques including under bridge inspection trucks or as we call [00:00:30] them UBITs to get beneath the bridge. From there we can access the girders, set our anchors and utilize our rope systems to descend or as we say repel down columns and get to the lower arch that supports this structure.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now this bridge is primarily constructed out of concrete. We're looking for things like delaminations, spalls, any type of cracking and again any general deterioration. While I was in college going to school for engineering, I got involved in hiking and outdoor recreation. [00:01:00] What some of that was whitewater rafting where I worked for seven years post college as a whitewater rafting guide in the Grand Canyon, just upstream of where we are here today. During that time I also threw my hat in the ring for recreational rock climbing and did that pretty successfully for about five years. During that time, I learned that rope access inspection was a thing and thought what a great way to meld both my engineering background and my recreational climbing experience and love for the outdoors.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Truly the best part [00:01:30] of this job is working together with my team. Our group of guys here and gals is about the best you're going to find. Utilizing that team mentality to get a big job like this one done, really is the best part of my day, every day I'm out here. My name is Drew Hauser and I am a bridge inspector for Stantec.&nbsp;</p>

Don’t look down

Hanging 900 feet above the Colorado River, Stantec bridge inspectors do what it takes to keep this bridge safe for the travelling public.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p><b>Nick Cioffredi</b>: So a lot of people ask if you get nervous or scared when you're working at height but you learn through extensive training and time on rope that you trust your gear, you trust your setup, you go nice and slow and steady, make sure that everything is rigged properly and it takes all the fear out of it.</p> <p>We've got a crew of seven, based out of Denver. All trained bridge inspection team leaders and assistants who are out here inspecting the Michael O'Callaghan Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.</p> <p><b>Tony Illia (NDOT – Nevada Department of Transportation):</b> we've been able to rely on Stantec to provide resourceful and accurate testing and assessment of the bridge . In addition to that, Stantec has really been a partner to us. Part of the NDOT family in helping us provide engineering services and making sure the bridge is functioning as it should be.</p> <p><b>Nick</b>: The structure is an open spandrel arch. We actually are able to, using our rope access, inspect the spandrel columns, the columns on all the approach spans, the arch, the interior of the arch, where we're actually on rope inside the arch, going all the way down to the skewbacks and back.</p> <p><b>Drew Houser</b>: This bridge is just under 1000 feet. All right above river level. When you're out there at the middle of the bridge at center span and you look down, you're looking about a fifth of a mile down to the river.</p> <p><b>Nick</b>: nine times out of ten, the bridges are in great shape. We're just going through that routine inspection making sure we're documenting any deterioration that's happening so that we can program for that maintenance or that rehabilitation down the road. When you do find that, the flaw in that bridge that could potentially be serious, we're there to catch it.</p> <p><b>Drew</b>: The Bridge Inspection Program all started with the catastrophic collapse of the Silver Bridge. When that happened, they realized that America's infrastructure needed to be looked at and some portions of it were crumbling. That lead to the Bridge Inspection Program.</p> <p><b>Nick</b>: What we do, nine times out of ten, we're inspecting bridges within our own communities or within our own state and you'd be amazed how many bridges you drive over on a daily basis and don't even realize that you're on a bridge. Our job out there is to keep our neighbors safe. It is to keep that community that we live and reside in safe.</p>

The Coast Meridian Overpass was due for a detailed inspection.

Join Stantec engineers to learn how we helped our client keep this bridge safe for the travelling public.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>Ryan Nataluk: You wouldn't just buy a car and never put new tires on it or do an oil change with it. Well bridges and infrastructure, they need their oil changed every once in a while to keep them up and running.</p> <p>Kip Skabar: A typical bridge inspection is to actually have an engineering judgment according to an established set of criteria In this case, there's over 40 different bridge component types that have to be evaluated. The only way to access some of these components is by industrial rope access in this case</p> <p>Marie-Andreé Paulhus: When I was studying, I was a rock climber. I didn't know much about “rope access engineer.” they talked to me about they did rope access and I was like, &quot;What? That's amazing. I want to do that.&quot;</p> <p>Niall Eivers: There's a lot of different tasks that's involved, different personnel. We have crews of 8 to 10 people on-site at one time, different types of equipment machinery.</p> <p>Kip: There's not too many firms out there that actually have that expertise to put engineers up close and personal with cable-stayed structures such as this at high elevations.</p> <p>Ryan: we're inspectors first and we're climbers second. We use the climbing as a tool to inspect. You need to know material properties of steel, concrete, timber, so you know when they sit in the elements over time, how they deteriorate, and most importantly, how our clients can repair them or protect them. I've climbed many mountains around the world and dropped into a lot of caves. and so Once I learned that I could actually use my skills to perform, use my climbing skills to perform engineering, it was exciting for me.</p> <p>Kip: By doing an inspection like this, we're actually setting providing a set of baseline data in order to help us better manage the asset over its lifespan. we're following the Ministry standards for bridge inspection in such a way that the condition ratings are applied in a very similar manner by qualified inspectors so that that inspection form can be compared to all the other precedent type of bridge inspections that have been done, and therefore, the end result is much more valuable to the city.</p> <p>Steve Brown: It was interesting, when we did go out to tender, Stantec were the only ones that actually had climbers onboard. The rest we're going to be doing it by binoculars and by what they called a visual inspection. I think just by having climbers, we're getting a closer inspection, a far greater inspection.</p> <p>Kip: I’m really excited to bring the team together today and its really rewarding to see everything happening very safely and going off according to our plan. Hopefully you’ll see Stantec inspectors one day hanging off of other cables in the area, and we’ll be doing it safely and we’ll be helping our clients to better manage their structure assets over the entire lifespan of the bridge.</p>

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