From the onset of modern civilization, bridges have been both iconic images and vital transportation routes that have helped to connect our world. From early designs using natural resources, to modern engineering techniques and advances in building materials, bridge construction has evolved in unison with the increasing demands of humankind.
Today’s bridges have become lifelines for major cities, and transportation agencies face a myriad of challenges to optimize the flow of goods and people. From ensuring the operability of aging structures, to planning, financing, and constructing modern replacements that improve accessibility, solutions to the challenges posed by bridges are essential to social and economic development.
WSP’s expertise extends to all types of bridges, from viaducts and interchanges, to railway and pedestrian bridges, and even wildlife crossings. Having designed, analyzed, built, maintained, and managed thousands of bridge projects, we are able to offer fully integrated services that meet all financial and aesthetic requirements.
Bridge Management, Inspection, and Maintenance
Infrastructure agencies increasingly face challenging questions in managing their aging bridge assets. The Federal Highway Administration in the US estimates it will cost $20.5 billion annually for the next 16 years to update existing publicly owned bridges. The situation is similar across the world. In Canada, the number of bridges 50 years or older increased 50% between 2006 and 2010.
Our bridge experts help develop cost-effective ways to achieve ever-longer durability requirements. “We are experts in non-destructive testing and monitoring of bridges to assist clients with their asset management plans,” says Eric Peissel WSP's Vice President Transportation in Canada. This is important because more challenges are coming. Automated trucks driving in a platooning mode will exert a new kind of stress on bridge structures.
At WSP, the international experience of our bridge teams can be leveraged to help clients envision the complete lifespan of their projects, from the feasibility stage forward. Our teams provide expertise in areas such as statutory approvals and planning, heritage, construction methods and economics, foundations and materials, and more.