Underwater Inspection

Underwater inspection of bridges, piers, bulkheads, and similar structures requires specialized expertise to help guard against the potentially catastrophic effects of ocean, estuary and fluvial environments on timber, concrete and steel structures. Churchill has been providing underwater inspection of bridges for more than two decades, typically involving an inspection of the structure; channel bottom soundings around the structure; a report of findings including structural defects and recommendations for repair; and detailed sounding plans and elevations.

The National Bridge Inspection Standards require FHWA approved bridge inspection training for all divers conducting underwater inspections. Our underwater inspection personnel include licensed structural engineers and engineers-in-training who have taken the FHWA courses Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges and Underwater Bridge Inspection. Each inspector has completed the underwater inspections of more than 500 structures, including bridges, culverts and piers.

The services we provide as part of an underwater inspection project may include the following:

NJDOT Type II, Type III and Type IV inspections

Photography and videotaping of localized and typical deterioration

Performing ultrasound non-destructive testing of steel sheet piles

Performing non-destructive testing of concrete piles using correlated data from Windsor probes and ultrasonic measurements, to determine concrete strength estimates and to locate hidden defects

Extracting cores from timber piles for assessment

of remaining preservative treatment and to assess the condition of timber pile cores

Report preparation with condition assessments, recommendations for repairs, cost estimates, and estimated structure life expectancy

Because our underwater inspection team divers are experienced structural engineers, they are exceptionally well qualified to assess the severity of below water deterioration.