Bridge Utilities Infrastructure News


Bridge Inspection: A Closer Look at Utility Pipelines

Posted by Edward Dill on Aug 2, 2018 9:01:00 AM


What Goes into A Bridge Inspection?

A utility pipeline bridge inspection evaluates the condition of major pipelines, pipeline leakage, bridge hangers, nuts and bolts, and applicable pipeline coatings. An inspection is a thorough evaluation of the components necessary to keep bridges in good working order. Bridge inspections are mostly visual– not to be replaced with a full-scale evaluation. Regular inspection is important to avoid long-term problems.


An inspection requires the following specialized equipment: LE trucks, lift trucks, hydra platforms, and scaffolding. The brunt of inspection assesses pipelines for cracks, fractures, and general wear and tear. Based on inspection status varying components of above and underground pipelines may be replaced, maintained, or left alone until the next maintenance check. Bent and worn-down hangers, along with damaged nuts and bolts, are quickly replaced to restore pipeline integrity. In the case of pipeline utilities, maintenance workers will check and replace any failing corrosion tape. Types of utility pipeline coatings include anti-corrosive tape or paint. Different variants offer more or less corrosive protection. 

When Pipelines Need to Be Replaced

Pipelines suffering from substantial cracks and fractures may need to be entirely replaced. Regular maintenance is critical in preventing entire replacement jobs. Preventative maintenance is key. The level of pipeline deterioration is essential when engineers consider replacing entire pipeline structures. The process is costly and invasive of surrounding operations. Entire roads are customarily blocked off during construction. Leveraging measured inspections several times throughout the year protect you from incremental deterioration.


Detecting problems throughout a pipeline system is the difference between replacing failing parts and having to replace an entire pipeline structure. Choose your battle. Maintenance is good for business, it’s good for the surrounding areas of your pipeline locations, and it ultimately saves your business money while protecting your asset.

How to Access a Utility Pipeline

Depending upon where your pipelines are situated, our team of expert engineers and maintenance workers will leverage all available machinery at our disposal. Pipeline accessibility is independent of each utility pipeline system. Accessing pipelines is a location-specific endeavor. Depending upon the inspection company you’re working with, procedures in accessing your pipeline will vary. Here at Aptus, we’ve worked hard to personally cull the best engineering teams and architects. Our mobile units respond promptly and follow all safety protocols to ensure the protection of your facility, the public, and our workers.


Bridge utility inspections are necessary for the successful operation of pipeline systems for maintenance and for optimal bridge performance. Without recommended inspections (each pipeline system will have varying inspection frequency needs) bridge owners would be required to shut down roads to allow large maintenance trucks access the underbelly of pipeline systems. This expends too many unnecessary resources. Utility pipeline inspections are necessary health check-ups that prevent disaster down the road. Catch problems before they start.

Elements Wearing Down Pipelines

Harsh Weather Conditions

Depending upon the climate of your utility pipeline system, you will have to address climate sensitive conditions wearing down your pipeline utilities. The most common weather elements we must take action against are (1) humidity, (2) salinity, and (3) extreme heat. Depending upon the climate of your utility pipeline environment our team will install specialized hangers to allow pipelines to expand and contract in direct response to surrounding weather conditions. Utility pipelines that are not outfitted to withstand their natural surroundings will quickly fail or be subject to frequent repairs.


Corrosion– also known as oxidation, or rust– may be curtailed with cathodic protection, or more aptly, corrosion resistant tapes. Inspections thoroughly examine the state of coatings, which are immediately replaced at the first sign of deterioration. Coatings are the first line of defense against oxidation. Skipping any recommended maintenance protocols may put your entire pipeline and bridge system in jeopardy. Once corrosion damages the integrity of piping systems, you’ll require full-blown repairs which may be timely and interrupt traffic patterns.

High Traffic

Heavy traffic conditions may expedite necessary inspections. High yielding traffic bridges require more frequent inspections to replace loose nuts and bolts, craned hangers, and wearing pipeline coatings. Especially in the context of high traffic areas, securing a utility pipeline inspector is absolutely critical. Here at Aptus, we’re first-in-class when it comes to response time and quality utility pipeline inspections. Because high traffic areas are surrounded by locals by nature, it is absolutely imperative to secure inspection services as soon as possible. Abide by any prescribed inspection recommendations to prevent tragedy and asset complications.


Neighboring wildlife can help degrade the components of a utility pipeline. Nesting can become an unnoticed occurrence, and left unaddressed may spur long-term damage. Wildlife should never be handled by non-professionals. Do not attempt to allay any nesting areas without contacting the proper authorities. Certain species must be relocated and handled with the utmost care.

General Wear & Tear

As it sounds, general wear and tear to pipeline utilities is one of the major reasons inspections exist. General wear and tear is completely normal. Expect to remedy any wear and tear immediately to prevent complications down the road. Regular maintenance calls depend upon pipelines individually– taking into account all of the aforementioned conditions contributing to the degradation of pipeline systems.

Get Your Pipeline Utilities Inspected Sooner

We can’t recommend the frequency you should have your pipelines inspected without knowing the particulars. If you haven’t had your utility pipelines inspected within the last year, we strongly recommend seeking a professional to assess your utilities. Pipelines can be difficult to access during certain times of the year. That’s why it’s imperative to secure a pipeline inspection service long before winter conditions make pipelines inaccessible. To prevent millions in damage and repairs to your hard-earned utility pipelines, give us a call.


Preventing catastrophic failures is as easy as performing your due diligence. Do not delay. You can prevent thousands of dollars in property loss and damage by having your pipelines inspected. For recommended inspection dates, give us a call.


Go Aptus!