PHOTOS: Engineers suspended on ropes inspect bridges

| July 31, 2013

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Last year, Better Roads featured a story about engineers who inspect bridges by climbing the structures and using ropes to rappel down and access critical areas.

The article, titled “Bridge Climbing,” detailed how climb-trained engineers from the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) and the Office of Structure Maintenance and Investigations at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) inspected a California dam in 1995 using a method called “rope access.”

Since the 1995 inspection, Caltrans has begun using the technique to inspect more than 50 California bridges that cannot be accessed with conventional methods. Plus, the method has been adopted by other agencies like the California Department of Water Resources and has prompted the creation of new safety practices and regulations.

Not only does rope access provide an economical and extensive way to evaluate structures, but it also makes for some awe-inspiring photos.

Check out the photos below of engineers inspecting structures via rope, then read all about the method in the original “Bridge Climbing” article.

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