Ground penetrating radar (GPR) reveals deterioration, cracking, delamination, corrosion and other factors that may otherwise remain undetected.

Within Canada and the U.S., bridges and roads are rapidly aging. Moreover, coming up with the funds necessary each year to replace and repair essential infrastructure is an ongoing challenge.

In response, many cities and engineering firms are beginning to incorporate a non-invasive technology known as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) into the condition assessment process. GPR provides a cost-effective method to examine the subsurface conditions of roads and bridges, and deliver insights into deterioration, cracking, delamination, corrosion and other factors that may otherwise remain undetected.

Our RoadMap solution provides ground-coupled GPR surveying which yields extremely high resolution data. It is collected at posted speeds which often reduces or completely eliminates the need for traffic control. Unlike traditional inspection methods such as chain dragging and hammer sounding, GPR picks up on subsurface anomalies at the inception stage, before they become a threat to structural integrity. Moreover, the results of the survey are objective and not dependent on an operator’s skill level or interpretation. Once analyzed, locations for coring can be selectively targeted based on areas that indicate weathering or deterioration. This greatly reduces the amount of destructive testing required. Results are then calibrated and incorporated into geo-referenced maps combined with a deterioration index that determines good versus deteriorated condition. Data can be stored each time a bridge or road is inspected to create a predictive model of how the infrastructure might change overtime.

This supports more informed planning around design and rehabilitation which in turn, improves infrastructure reliability. In fact, in 2005, the U.S. Transportation Research Board launched a body of research known as the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) which concluded that capturing data via non-destructive techniques serves to prevent the premature and unexpected failure of roads and bridge decks.

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