Using a custom-designed rolling device, B&N bridge inspectors recently completed the first arms-length inspection of steel cables on the Dames Point Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida – the longest cable-stayed bridge in the United States.
The five-person inspection team used the newly-developed device to inspect the cables of the 1,300-foot main span as part of a two-year contract with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The purpose of the inspection was to ensure there were no cable deficiencies prior to repainting the bridge cables of the 25-year-old bridge.
The Dames Point Bridge is the only bridge in the United States to feature the harp stay arrangement on two vertical planes. Because of this unique design, there was no “off-the-shelf” device available to complete the inspection.
B&N designed, developed and tested three prototypes in house. The design used in the inspection was constructed with parts from hardware and outdoor equipment stores. The weight of the device was a key factor in the development process as inspectors would have to carry it, along with 600-foot ropes and additional inspection equipment, as they repeatedly scaled the bridge’s 500-foot towers during the three-week inspection.
The Dames Point Bridge is one of more than 10,000 bridge inspections B&N has performed since 1970. For additional information on B&N’s bridge inspection service, contact Mark Bernhardt, PE, at 614-459-2050.