MDOT is using a movie camera in order to get better pictures of bridge decks for inspections.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is largely responsible for inspecting bridge decks in order to check their conditions. 75% of MDOT’s highway bridges are said to be 40 or more years old and require new technology to preserve. Three bridges in Livingston County are considered in poor condition; the pair of I-96 bridges that span Grand River in Brighton, both of which were built in 1962, and the Eastbound I-96 entrance ramp at Lake Chemung, which was built in 1961.

In order to better inspect those bridges and others across the state, MDOT has teamed up with the Michigan Tech Research Institute to utilize a 3-D optical bridge evaluation system. It uses a vehicle-mounted camera and image analysis software to accomplish the inspections. MTRI’s Richard Dobson, who serves as the principal investigator on the project, says “the camera offers full-resolution images at 60 frames per second.” MDOT says the new technique allows inspectors to collect more accurate data with fewer impacts on the traveling public and a safer work environment. Dobson says they can collect all of the data without having to have inspectors on the road and without closing lanes so there is very little disruption in traffic and inspectors are not exposed to traffic.

More information about the new technique can be found through the link.(JB/JK)