America’s highway and railway bridges must be continually inspected, repaired, and maintained. And it’s not a small task!
As most of those in the industry know, the United States has more than 617,000 bridges and, of these, almost 260,000 of them are 50 years old or more. That’s 42 percent of our bridges, by the way.
Unfortunately, a significant number of our bridges are also designated as structurally deficient (SD). In fact, one recent report noted more than 46,150 of our nation’s bridges are in dire need of repairs or even replacement.
The good news is that the total number of structurally deficient bridges has declined over recent years. This is due largely to the renewed infrastructure efforts, routine bridge inspections, and – of course – the tireless work of bridge maintenance companies.
Bridge Maintenance Companies in High Demand
Bridge maintenance companies engage in a wide variety of bridge-related tasks including winter maintenance, snow and ice control, vegetation management, and routine bridge maintenance.
And the industry is experiencing an increase in the demand for bridge maintenance services. As one industry source noted,
“The aging infrastructure in the U.S. is experiencing increased maintenance and repair costs. Specific types of structures requiring significant maintenance attention include bridges for vehicles, trains, pedestrians, pipe racks, etc.
Bridges require additional maintenance as they are experiencing heavier loads, increased frequency of traffic, exceeding their functional longevity, experiencing challenging environmental conditions and changing weather conditions, as well as seismic activity and wind loads.”
Over time, bridges are exposed to environmental and traffic loading conditions that lead to a natural deterioration of the bridge’s structural condition.
Much like healthcare, bridge maintenance can be roughly categorized to include both preventive maintenance, which is a planned approach to maintaining bridges, and acute bridge repair tasks.
Whereas the first is more proactive rather than reactive, it also tends to be more cost-effective in the long run. This type of bridge maintenance is done for entire bridges and their components to prevent or delay future deterioration, and to sustain or improve their current condition.
What we referred to here as “acute” bridge repair is bridge maintenance tasks designed to correct or repair issues requiring immediate attention. The recent major bridge repair done on the Hernando de Soto Bridge over the Mississippi is a vivid example.
Perhaps more common is the realm of bridge repair, or preservation, maintenance tasks. These can include the following:
- Washing and cleaning
- Removing trash and other debris
- Sealing deck joints
- Sealing cracks
- Clearing drainage areas
- Painting exposed elements
- Protecting against scour
- Lubricating bearings
What all of these tasks and the general work carried out by bridge maintenance companies across the U.S. have in common is the need for reliable bridge access equipment.
McClain and Company: The Bridge Maintenance Company’s Ally
Whether it’s the need to gain access to the superstructure of a highway bridge to reach trusses, caps, and beams, or to access the areas beneath the bridge deck, specialized equipment is required.
A bridge maintenance company on contract with a state department of transportation, for example, may encounter a wide array and variety of bridge structures. Some may be less than 20 feet above the foundation, while others can be hundreds of feet above waterways or rugged terrain.
Some bridges are only 14 to 16 feet wide. Yet, others support multiple traffic lanes in both directions.
What all this means for contractors is that one bridge access vehicle will not be sufficient to provide convenient access to every bridge they may encounter. The need is for a reliable source that can provide a wide variety of bridge inspection and maintenance equipment. What they need is a trusted ally.
At McClain and Company, we are that ally.
Since 1998, we have endeavored to provide a variety of support services to engineering companies, government agencies, and bridge maintenance contractors for the inspection and maintenance of bridges. And paramount among these services is our selection of under bridge access equipment.
Rely on McClain and Company for Quality Bridge Maintenance Equipment Rental
At McClain and Company, we believe in providing the absolute best in customer service. And that includes providing our customers with the absolute best in bridge access equipment.
Owner Daniel McClain and the entire team at McClain & Co., Inc. also believes that your success is our success. This is why our goal is to do everything we can to help you select the right bridge access equipment rental for your maintenance project.
Do you already know what type of equipment you’d like to rent? You can request a quote today and schedule your rental with us.
In addition to bridge maintenance and under bridge inspection equipment rentals, McClain and Company also provides construction services and equipment rental in several states, along with Traffic Control Service and Device rentals, as well as Hi-Rail and aerial work platforms and access equipment.
If you have questions about our Snooper™ trucks and other equipment, or want to learn more about bucket trucks and under bridge inspection unit rentals, contact McClain & Co., Inc., by giving us a call at 1.888.889.1284 or emailing us at [email protected].