U.S. Army garrison installation bridge managers and inspectors recently graduated from the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) safety inspection of in-service bridges course November 4 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Installation Management Command Army Dams and Transportation Infrastructure Program held a bridge inspection training course for U.S. Army garrison installation bridge managers and inspectors involved in bridge safety, operations, and maintenance.
“Class is difficult for students. They have to pass one midterm and three final exams. Students not only meet garrison Army dams and transportation requirements but are also certified as Federal Highway Administration certified bridge inspectors,” said Jason Powers, Fort Benning Installation Transportation Engineer.
The U.S. Army owns and maintains an estimated 2,400 bridges throughout the United States and overseas. Fort Benning’s 122 bridges must be routinely inspected every two years to comply with Army regulation and the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inspection Standards for highway bridges.
The training provides the information necessary for garrisons to develop and implement a comprehensive bridge safety program. Topics included the bridge inspection program, review of basic concepts, safety and inspection documentation, structural inventory and appraisal data, and the inspection and evaluation of decks, superstructures, fracture-critical bridge members, bridge bearings, substructures, waterways, underwater inspection, and culverts.
The Engineer Research and Development Center’s Bridge Inspection Team assists IMCOM Army garrisons and U.S. Army Directorates of Public Works maintain compliance with regulations on bridge safety.
“We execute the bridge safety program for IMCOM, and we are here not only to train garrison bridge inspectors but to also to perform the inspection of half of Fort Benning installation bridges,” said Dr. Edgardo Ruiz, bridge inspector, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.
In addition to lectures, the class consisted of an on-site hands-on inspection of a nearby bridge and practical exercises.
“This team will ensure that all bridges in the Fort Benning installation are thoroughly inspected in accordance with technical requirements,” said Col. Colin P. Mahle, garrison commander, Fort Benning. “The training will ensure on-time inspections, which in turn ensure the readiness of the installation and safety of Soldiers and their Families."