It goes without saying that when it comes to bridges, safety should be ensured. When you’re crossing a large body of water on a road suspended in the air, the last thing you want to question is whether or not the bridge you are driving on is secure. Unfortunately, much like the majority of the United States’ infrastructure, bridges are not quite as safe as we would like to think they are.
In general, the ASCE gives bridges a C-grade for their safety and security. Around 42% of America’s bridges are a whopping 50 years or older, and almost 50,000 of the country’s bridges are considered “structurally deficient” and in poor condition. According to some estimates, the infrastructure budget would need to be increased to over 22 billion dollars annually to sufficiently address the poor condition of American bridges. Furthermore, it would take until 2071 to fix all of the nation’s problems with bridges.
With all of these pressing issues it can be difficult to know where to start when addressing American infrastructure problems. Regardless of the particular problem, there is one thing that can alway be done to tackle infrastructure issues: look to nondestructive testing.
As you can probably assume, verification of safety is critical for bridges. Without frequent, thorough testing, bridges are at high risk for damage going unnoticed until it is too late. Testing methods like ultrasonic nondestructive testing is a perfect method for bridges because it is a precise, reliable method that can yield immediate results.
Ultrasonic testing can provide specifics to the technician that cannot be derived from visual inspection alone. Details like the location, size, and depth of a flaw can be revealed through ultrasonic testing and other methods of nondestructive testing-- factors that are all critical in determining the right course of action after a flaw is indicated.
The next great battle when it comes to American bridges is making the necessary repairs to get them up to code. While estimates show that it could take upwards of 50 years to fully repair the current issues with bridges (not to mention the ones that will inevitably arise over that time), the time is now to start repairing.
When it comes to repairing a bridge, it's essential to work with an NDT team of technicians with plenty of hands-on experience. Repairing a bridge will inevitably mean an expensive and inconvenient shutdown. In this case, it is critical that technicians know exactly where and how to repair bridges to reduce the inconvenience of a bridge closure and re-open the bridge safely and effectively by doing things the right way the first time.
While the country’s infrastructure issues can’t be solved in a day, nondestructive testing is a critical element in supporting bridge inspection and repair as we work to put together a crumbling infrastructure. Qualified NDT technicians need exceptional training to help improve the poor state of our country’s infrastructure. Whether you are looking to hire nondestructive testing services to protect your assets or become a technician through NDT technician training, it is crucial to choose the right company or school for the best NDT training.
TXNDT is a cut above the rest with superior NDT courses, knowledgeable instructors, and hands-on coursework to prepare all prospective technicians for the field. When lives are on the line, choose the best people for the job. Check us out online, or give us a call today at 281-231-0001 to see how TXNDT can work for you!