Bridge Inspection Services

06.25.15   Jason A. Fogg, PE | More by this Author

Bridge Inspection Services

SME is proud to announce a new service for its clients in the transportation industry. After years of serving the regions' needs for specialized inspections and testing, including NDT (non-destructive testing), material sampling and testing, and fabrication shop inspection, SME is now positioned to offer bridge inspection services for owners and authorities.


The news headlines are clear, the state of our infrastructure and the safety of roadways and bridges is what everyone is talking about. Now more than ever, maintaining the safe use of our roads and bridges within tight budgetary constraints is the main concern of infrastructure owners and managers. SME can help owners and managers by offering bridge inspections and analysis and providing confidence in the condition of your structures.

SME offers three types of inspection services, depending on your needs and structure details.

Safety Inspections - A Safety Inspection is a visual condition assessment of bridge structural and safety components and includes a condition summary report which includes element ratings, photographs, sketches and maintenance and repair recommendations. The Federal Highway Administration requires that all bridges must be assessed during a safety inspection at a frequency of not more than 24 months.

In-Depth Inspections - An In-Depth Inspection is required where more access, testing, and condition evaluation is necessary than during a safety inspection. These inspections are typically based on findings and recommendations from a safety inspection and include specialized measurements, testing and analysis.

Fracture Critical Inspection - A Fracture Critical Inspection identifies and provides an evaluation of the bridge components subject to tensile forces without load path redundancy. These elements are typically the main supporting components of the bridge and require special attention, access and evaluation.

Additionally, SME can assist a bridge owner or manager by providing Load Rating and Analysis Services. Bridges are designed to carry various loads from cars, trucks, trains and pedestrians. Load rating and analysis of a structure and its components provides specific loading limits under various conditions. All main structural elements have an "as-built" and "as-inspected" condition and load rating outlining their capacity. Structure and element deterioration leads to reduced capacity. To process overload permits and effectively plan for maintenance and capital programs, bridge owners need to know structure and individual member capacity in addition to the structure and member condition. SME's load rating and analysis services can help you plan effectively and avoid surprises.


SME's experience in fabrication, coating, and material testing and inspection has produced a team of highly qualified technical personnel familiar with bridge maintenance, restoration and construction. SME has a team of FHWA certified bridge inspectors, NACE certified coating inspectors, AWS certified weld inspectors, and SMSI certified concrete materials inspectors. These individuals offer unique insight to the condition assessment of steel and concrete bridge structures in addition to their knowledge of bridge design and material failure mechanics. Our team will locate potential problems, evaluate them, and provide solutions before they become issues that can cost time and money.

To learn more about SME's bridge inspection services, please contact Jason Fogg at (800) 837-8800 or

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