14. Bridge inspection and maintenance – the access challenge
By their very nature large bridges pose a significant challenge when it comes to their inspection and maintenance. They are often very high and span across large rivers making access from the ground nigh on impossible. In these situations it is necessary to install some means of access on to the bridge, whether it be a permanent or temporary platform. Most bridges require some form of access below the deck. Suspension bridges have the added complexity of also requiring access above deck level to the main cables, which can be up to 200m above sea level. One thing they all share in common is that access is extremely hazardous and must be executed in a safe manner that reduces the risks to a minimum. This presentation explores some of the issues that arise in the design of the bridge access gantries and shows real world examples of projects that Eadon Consulting have been involved in over the last decade.