OSARC Timber Bridge Inspections


Neel-Schaffer adds Pile Resistographs to inspections tool chest

Neel-Schaffer recently began work on another contract for the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction to inspect and perform load-rating services on 187 timber-element bridges in 11 counties across the state.

Inspections under the latest contract began in August 2018 and are expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.

Previously, the OSARC selected Neel-Schaffer to inspect and perform load-rating services on 175 timber element bridges. The bridges inspected for that contract were built between 1940 and 2013 and are of various lengths. Some are inspected annually, and others are inspected every two years.

Inspections were conducted between September 2017 and April 2018 by two-and three-member crews. All inspections were performed in accordance with the specifications set forth in the National Bridge Inspection Standards and the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Evaluation. Inspections were done on foot, except where ladders and/or boats were used to bring the inspectors within “arms length” of the bridges. Soundings were taken at each bent and other locations, allowing for adequate depiction of the stream bottom along the upstream edge of each bridge, using the deck as a reference point.

Neel-Schaffer inspectors used new Pile Resistographs to test timber piles during the inspections performed in this project.

Deliverables for each inspection included: a minimum of six photographs, clear, concise and accurate drawings, stamped Load Rating Summary sheets, and any relevant additional inspection data that helps fully document the condition of the bridge.

Each bridge was rated for a wide variety of loads and vehicles, including Legal Load Vehicles (MS H-Truck, Concrete Truck, HS Short Truck, HS Long Truck, Tandem Axle, and Single Axle), Emergency Vehicles (Type EV2 – for single rear axle, front single axle – 24,000 pounds, rear single axle – 33,500 pounds, and wheel base 15 feet), and Type EV3 – for tandem rear axle vehicles (front single axle – 24,000 pounds, rear tandem axle – 62,000 pounds, and wheel base 17 feet).

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