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Golden Gate Bridge Tower Inspections Underway

Monday, May 7, 2018

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The towers of San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge are undergoing their first detailed inspection since the span opened in 1937, according to reports, with engineers rappelling over the sides of the towers to take a closer look.

Crews began the inspection on April 30, to determine if any of the towers are in need of repair. The focus remains on corrosion because of the salty marine environment, noted district engineer Ewa Bauer. New federal regulations require the assessment of 18,000 bridges across the country.

Bridge Tower Inspection

“The inspection teams will look carefully at every rivet and seam to determine what work we need to do to keep this beautiful structure standing strong,” said Bauer. This kind of inspection is an added measure to keep an eye on both potential deterioration and aesthetics.

Rich Niewiroski Jr., CC-BY-2.5, via WIkimedia Commons

The Golden Gate Bridge towers are undergoing its first detailed inspection since it opened in 1937, according to reports, which means engineers are rappelling over the sides of the bridge towers to take a closer look.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District chose Omaha-based infrastructure firm HDR Inc. to carry out the work.

Both of the 746-foot towers contain 44,000 tons of steel, helping to keep the iconic span in place. In the past, engineers have used binoculars to inspect the towers for problem areas. This specific inspection is reportedly the first time engineers have used ropes and pulleys for an “arms-length” inspection, which involves the examination of 179 truss members and 168 floor beams from the south approach viaduct deck truss spans, the Fort Point arch span, suspension spans and north approach viaduct deck truss spans. Three south approach viaduct girder spans and select portions of the main cable were also examined.

Priya Clemens, Golden Gate Bridge District spokesperson, told NBC 7 San Diego that the towers are not considered to be “fracture critical.” Not much corrosion has been found, according to reports.

The inspection work is slated for completion within a week. Scaffolding will be removed by May 11. In 2015, the bridge’s underside was inspected for corrosion.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Corrosion; Government; Infrastructure; Inspection

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