Inspecting the UK's road network ...

Highway structures (bridges, culverts & tunnels) have been designed and built since people started moving goods around on some sort of mechanical device. Over the years, the shape, size and complexity of these structures have changed, and with these changes and the increased traffic flow over them, comes the increased need to maintain them. This is borne out by the recent bridge collapses, and the large repair schemes that are taking place around the world on our highway structures today.

Working on and in bridges and tunnels, similar to our other market sectors, present their own set of issues which need to be addressed and allowed for, early, whilst remaining flexible enough to complete sometimes critical Health and Safety work.

Bridges and tunnels are an essential part of our road and rail network infrastructure and consequently require regular inspection, as described on our Bridge Inspections page.

CRL Surveys has over 20 years' experience undertaking these inspections for Local, Regional and National Authorities and their Supply Chain Partners, for Engineering Consultants and private owners.

The work is often very challenging, requiring possession of 'live' environments, including road, rail and waterways, out-of-hours, nightshift working, working at height, both over in sometimes water, on and over rail networks and commonly with difficult access, including confined spaces.

Projects are always planned, in great detail, to coordinate traffic management, access and working, to minimise disruption and occupancy but ensuring optimisation of the information gathered so that a structure can thoroughly and properly be assessed. In many instances this not only includes the collection of test data, but also critical information for the design and costing of remedial works. Our inspections are in many cases the means to a satisfactory end, rather than the end.

Safety is paramount and we have our own safety advisor, Nigel Roper, who is able to assist us with risk assessments to ensure we operate safely.

The UK Bridges Board with the support of the department of Transport has recently introduced a Bridge Inspector Certification Scheme as a key part of the management process. Our engineers and technicians are currently going through the certification process to ensure we are able to satisfy these new industry standards.

Training for this certification is being provided by the University of West of England and we contribute to the delivery of this course at the University by presenting one of the modules on concrete repair.