The US has 542,000 bridges that consume billions of dollars per year in construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance funds and which are the lifelines of US commerce. The 1992 ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act) mandates the implementation of a quantitative computerized bridge management system by 1996. A prime need of such a system are quantitative bridge inspection methods to feed accurate reliable condition information to the huge database of bridges. Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) will fill a critical need in the implementation of effective bridge management. However, many serious barriers exist to the widespread routine application of this technology to bridges. This paper provides an overview of the typical problems associated with applying NDE to bridges.
David W. Prine,
"Problems associated with nondestructive evaluation of bridges", Proc. SPIE 2456, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Bridges and Highways, (19 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209754; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.209754