AECOM bridge inspectors Lance Savant, PE (shown lower right) and David Raffensperger (shown top center) work their way around a steel open-spandrel arch 700 feet high over the Colorado River during an inspection of the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge in Page, Arizona. The bridge was originally built in 1959 by the US Bureau of Reclamation to facilitate transportation of materials for the adjacent dam. At that time it was the highest arch bridge in the world.

AECOM was retained by the Arizona Department of Transportation to complete the biennial inspection. AECOM’s bridge inspection practice is one of the most distinguished in the US. The program combines more than 25 years of experience and 200 certified bridge inspectors and load raters who themselves are skilled bridge designers or full time inspectors. The team develops schedules and access plans that consider safety, traffic control, and site-specific hazards. The teams have inspected New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge, Tampa’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and Boston’s Central Artery project highlighted among the thousands in their portfolio.

I arrived the evening before the inspectors planned to descend to the bottom of the span for their work. Along with the technical rope-work required, the project manager, Dave Thompson was using a “snooper” truck lift to access underneath the road decking and upper structure for another part of the assessment. The team also kept traffic flowing during the work to minimize disruptions to those traveling in the area. This included making way for numerous wide-load houseboats coming off nearby Lake Powell. I coordinated access on top of the adjacent Dam from Ron Anderson, a manager for the Bureau of Reclamation to get closer viewpoints of the detailed work. I have also compiled video of the work which will be posted on the web in the near future.

Shot on a tripod with a Canon 1dx camera and 500mm lens with a 1.4x tele-extender equaling a 700mm focal length. Exposure was 1/160th at f 11 at iso 800.

Photo © Robb Williamson / AECOM

Originally published 08.27.2014

Author: Robb Williamson