Bridge Surveys and Inspection

Beaver Bridges can provide all aspects of inspection and capacity assesment for your bridge. We also offer advice, design and practical support for strengthening and altering bridge structures as and when this becomes necessary.

The Beaver Bridge Team work to all current standards and codes and would welcome your opportunity to help support you in this area.

As an indication for normal Highways Bridges these are some of the typical inspections we can offer:

The normal inspection regime on bridges in the UK requires a General Inspection to be carried out each year and a more detailed Principal Inspection to be carried out every six years.

Additional detail :


The various levels of inspection are categorised and defined as follows:-

1.1 Superficial Inspection

The purpose of a superficial inspection is to identify and report daily obvious defects which, if ignored, might lead to collapse, accidents or high maintenance and repair costs. The inspection will normally be carried out by contractors own staff.

1.2 General Inspection

This inspection requires the examination of all parts of the structure that can be inspected without the use of special plant, scaffolds, etc. Visual aids such as binoculars shall be used where necessary. Where the bed of a river is susceptible to scour, a check for scour/undermining of structural foundations shall be made, using a boat if necessary. General inspections will normally be carried out by Engineering Consultancy staff.

1.4 Principal Inspection

Each Principal Inspection shall normally be carried out by a member of the Engineering Consultancy staff who is a Chartered Engineer and/or has at least 10 years experience of bridge inspections. This inspection shall include checks for scour as in General Inspections and requires the detailed examination of all inspectable parts of the structure. Special access plant, scaffolding, boats etc, shall be employed as necessary to gain close access for effective detailed inspection. Database checks shall be carried out and colour photograph records of defects obtained together with bridge elevations if not on file.

Where an element of a structural steelwork bridge shows signs of severe local corrosion, residual laminated paintwork and loose corrosion must be removed and residual section thicknesses checked. The report should note if an assessment of the member structural adequacy and load capacity of the bridge is considered necessary.

1.5 Special Inspection

Special inspections are inspections carried out in addition to planned maintenance inspections. They are arranged as required by virtue of the condition of the structure or in connection with abnormal load movements, flooding, accident damage, etc.

Engineers are responsible for carrying out initial inspections of river bridges after exceptional rainfall or flooding and of damage to bridges from vehicle accidents. In the case of river bridges after flooding conditions, particular regard should be given to movements, settlement of foundation and approach training walls and the removal of waterborne debris.

Where a bridge has been damaged or where the integrity of the bridge is considered to be at risk, the additional support should be sought.


Aerial Inspection

We also offer Aerial Inspection utilizing the latest drone technology to provide aerial surveys of existing and intended structures.
Our CAA licensed drone operators can quickly assess the most difficult to access areas providing a cost-effective solution to your inspection needs.

Due to their size and maneuverability, drones and UAVs can access areas where traditional methods of inspection simply can’t reach enabling them to take high definition aerial footage safely and accurately and thereby removing many dangers and hazards.

The latest software can allow the drone to be programmed for repeat flight patterns, therefore consistent data is collected from the same site as it is monitored over time. Drones are ideal for the regular surveys of wind turbines, solar panels and renewable energy facilities as well as large construction projects.


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