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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > August 2010 > Showcasing Enhanced Bridge Inspections Through Nondestructive Evaluation
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-016
Date: August 2010

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Showcasing Enhanced Bridge Inspections Through Nondestructive Evaluation

Get an up-close introduction to the latest in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) tools and systems for bridges with the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) new Bridge Inspection Nondestructive Evaluation Showcase (Course No. FHWA-NHI-130099). The 1-day course is available now for scheduling through FHWA's National Highway Institute (NHI).

NDE methods can be used to assess existing conditions in highway bridge structures during routine biennial inspections, supplementing visual inspections. Developed by staff at FHWA's Nondestructive Evaluation Center (NDEC) at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia, the showcase is designed to provide bridge inspection staff with the opportunity to see and learn more about efficient and effective inspection tools and techniques, with the ultimate goal of achieving safer bridges through more reliable bridge inspections.

"These portable, hand-held technologies can easily be used in the field," says Larry O'Donnell of the FHWA Resource Center. "The showcase explains how the use of NDE can be incorporated into the bridge inspection process and highlights when and where to use NDE."

A close-up of FHWA Nondestructive Evaluation Center researcher Rongtang Liu, who is using the Eddy Current system to inspect a weld on a stiffener. Liu wears an orange vest and white hard hat.

FHWA Nondestructive Evaluation Center researcher Rongtang Liu
uses the Eddy Current system to inspect a weld on a stiffener.

Five types of NDE inspection tools are featured: Eddy Current, Ultrasonic, Infared Thermography, Impact Echo, and Ground Penetrating Radar. The showcase includes lectures, instructional videos, and live demonstrations of basic equipment operations, as well as discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of using the different equipment.

"This course will demonstrate how easy it is to understand the proper application and use of each NDE methodology to improve the reliability of bridge evaluation," says Firas I. Sheikh Ibrahim of FHWA.

The course is designed for Federal, State, and local highway bridge inspectors, consultants, and other bridge inspection staff. Up to 100 attendees can participate in a single showcase, with a total fee of $13,000 per showcase.

To schedule the course in your State, register on the NHI Web site at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/training/hostcourse.aspx, or contact the NHI Scheduler at 703-235-0534 (email: NHIScheduler@fhwa.dot.gov). For more information on the showcase, contact Larry O'Donnell at the FHWA Resource Center, 708-283-3502 (email: larry.o'donnell@fhwa.dot.gov). To learn more about NDE, visit FHWA's NDEC Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/nde/01020.cfm. The site includes details on current research and links to NDE publications, including technical reports and FHWA's NDEC News. For more information on the NDEC, contact Firas I. Sheikh Ibrahim at FHWA, 202-493-3053 (email: firas.ibrahim@fhwa.dot.gov).

A close-up of bridge inspector Marcus Miller of FHWA's Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division office, who is using the Ultrasonic system to inspect a bridge pin. Miller wears an orange hard hat and vest as he views the system.

Bridge inspector Marcus Miller of FHWA's Eastern Federal Lands
Highway Division office uses the Ultrasonic system to inspect a bridge pin.

 

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Updated: 05/27/2011

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