WHY TECHNOLOGY MATTERS
For a country generally smitten with technology, it is ironic that when it comes to maintaining our nation’s costly infrastructure, technology is noticeably absent. Using appropriate technology in our nation’s transportation infrastructure will produce enough savings to offset the staggering costs resulting from the past few decades of deferred maintenance. New assessment technologies that exist today are central to overcoming the limiting effects of visual inspection for both bridge management and funding allocation, and offer a variety of benefits to transportation departments and the public.
Technology exists to anticipate bridge remediation years before rust, corrosion, and cracks in the structure appear. The federal government needs to provide states with funds to purchase this equipment and train their inspectors to use it. Enabling bridge inspectors to ensure precision and objectivity in their evaluation process, which in turn allows us to catch problems earlier when they are easier and less costly to fix, can save state governments countless millions of dollars a year in unnecessary remediation costs.