Inspection on the Complex Foundations of Overwater Bridges

The as-built condition of bridge foundations is important for bridge engineers to evaluate their capacity and stability in natural hazard events. Recently, two in-service old bridges with complex foundation conditions were subjected to scour risk found in biennial routine inspection. In response to the inspection findings, the bridge agencies needed to know their dimension information in order to assess their functional conditions for future improvement if needed. A two-phase near-surface geophysical inspection strategy, including electrical resistivity tomography and ultra-seismic inspection, was introduced to identify their foundation depths, even their types. The electrical resistivity tomography technique outlined the rough interface between bridge substructure and surrounding geological stratum at bridge sites at the first stage. A following ultra-seismic inspection provided a detailed information in determining the substructure depths. Combining these two inspection results, the whole investigation demonstrated useful and reliable conclusiveness in depth determination on unknown bridge foundations.



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