Marine Link
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Statewide Underwater Bridge Inspections by Fenstermaker

August 1, 2013

Photo courtesy of Fenstermaker

Photo courtesy of Fenstermaker

Fenstermaker's Underwater Acoustic specialists collaborate with the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development to use advanced technologies and progressive methods in addressing America's failing infrastructure with a pioneer statewide underwater bridge inspection project.

Summer is in full swing, but the grades posted in the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) are downright chilling. With a cumulative GPA of D+, the assessment of our transportation systems indicates that our country’s infrastructure is alarmingly degenerated and still deteriorating dangerously. The Skagit River Bridge collapse in Washington State on May 23, 2013, is the latest evidence of this major concern and safety gap in America, one that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has deemed "a warning for the entire nation."

Fenstermaker say they have continuously been involved with transportation improvements. In recent years, the company has developed innovative services through the adoption of progressive technologies that assist agencies in making informed decisions to mitigate the severe, continuous decline in our infrastructure.

One example is Fenstermaker’s collaboration with remote sensing and systems manufacturer Kongsberg Mesotech to tailor a custom Underwater Acoustic Imaging (UAI) system. This advanced system, proprietary to Fenstermaker, specializes in superior visualization of submerged structures in varied and difficult underwater conditions. It is integrated with customized steering and tracking sensors that allow for precise positioning and pointing of the sonar beam.

The preliminary imaging from the UAI system serves as a road map to guide divers to submerged components that require a closer look or deter them from dangerous areas.

Fenstermaker’s UAI team is acting as the lead consultant in LA DOTD’s statewide underwater bridge inspection project as the state is currently in the final phase of evaluating the substructure of 69 bridges and three tunnels.

The company said this premier project denotes the first time the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved the use of remote sensing technologies in the inspection of submerged bridge structural elements; and LA DOTD is the first state transportation agency to use these advanced measures to comply with FHWA’s requisite inspection of bridges every five years.

In the picture: Fenstermaker's Underwater Acoustic and transportation specialists alongside the dive team at the Vicksburg Bridge inspection site.

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