USH 12 Middleton Bypass | Middleton, WI

New Tool to Assess Bridges

Leah Rhodes, PE | with 0 Comments

New Tool to Assess Bridges

In a study by the Federal Highway Administration, one in nine of the nation’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, while the average age of the nation’s approximately 600,000 bridges is 42 years.
Collecting data on these bridges is not only time-consuming, but labor-intensive and comes with a high price tag. This infrastructure issue has become one of great interest for civil engineers, leading the FHWA and Rutgers University to develop the RABITTM, a bridge deck assessment tool that gathers data to generate a comprehensive assessment of concrete bridge deck conditions.
According to the FHWA, the RABITTM has:
  • Panoramic Camera
  • High-Definition Imagine
  • Electrical Resistivity
  • Impact Echo and Ultrasonic Surface Waves
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Global Positioning System
Municipalities in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin can benefit from the RABITTM as it measures numerous bridge conditions, such as corrosion, concrete quality degradation and delamination. The equipment is operated by remote control, making it safer for engineers and inspectors.  It also eliminates the need for lengthy traffic closures.
With technology like the RABITTM, the future of America’s bridges is in better hands. The information gathered can help with the understanding of a bridge’s life and ultimately improve the longevity and reliability of highway transportation assets.
For more information regarding assessing and restoring bridges, contact MSA's Leah Rhodes.  

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