Public and private infrastructure is in dire need of maintenance and repair – we constantly hear media reports about collapsing bridges, water main breaks and the failure of busy roads due to subsurface sinkholes.
To effectively allocate funds, there needs to be more systematic evaluation of structural integrity to develop meaningful indicators of current safety level and projected asset life expectancy.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) in the USA has published several studies that tested various NDE technologies for road and bridge inspections. For many of these applications Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) received the highest ranking for non-destructive evaluation technology.
Road pavements and sub-base materials provide unique opportunities for using GPR. GPR’s ability to penetrate asphalt and concrete pavements and detect and delineate subsurface structure delivers invaluable information for asset management and maintenance planning. Being able to ascertain the construction practice, determine pavement thickness and locate variations in the base coarse leads to informed maintenance and repair expenditures.