, Senior Research Scientist, UMD-NRRI
Funding was approved by the Local Road Research Board (LRRB) in 2012-2014 to develop and integrate advanced timber bridge inspection techniques into bridge inspections by Minnesota inspectors. This work has successfully completed the following technical tasks: 1) identification of inspection technologies, 2) development of timber bridge inspection protocols, 3) develop condition reporting forms that supplement National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) formats, 4) develop an inspection manual for timber bridges, 5) complete an economic assessment of the inspection protocol, 6) recommend a list of inspection tools/equipment evaluations of bridges, and 7) conduct inspection training for Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) districts. This project has set the stage with all necessary protocols and training for improved inspections of timber bridges, especially deteriorated substructure. However, full-scale implementation of this research will require that county and state inspectors have access to the specialized timber bridge inspection equipment that was identified during this project. The project team has worked to develop standard operating procedures and video demonstrations and to provide hands-on access during the short courses developed and conducted during this project. Based on the activities completed, the project team is seeking additional funds to purchase at least three complete sets of inspection equipment and to manage the shared use of this equipment during a 60-month trial period. Further, one additional short course will be presented on inspection of timber bridges using this equipment.