WisDOT SE Region Bridge Inspections

Wisconsin Department of Transportation | Statewide, Southeast Region
bridge inspection

When WisDOT made a statewide switch to Element Level inspections, they selected Benesch to perform a significant portion of their inspections in the SE Region. Since then, Benesch has performed bridge inspections, including routine, complex fracture critical and in-depth inspections every year.

Benesch has provided routine inspections of hundreds of state-owned bridges. In addition to reporting inspections using the most recent fracture critical and in-depth NBI and Wisconsin protocols, we also profiled stream channels where needed, prepared steel surface area computations, and documented findings of our detailed inspections into the WisDOT HSIS database.

Detailed notes and measurements of the current condition states of bridge elements were recorded as part of the required Element Level Inspection process, and photographs of the structures and all CS3 or worse defects were documented in the inspection reports. Benesch utilized a tablet with wireless internet capability when possible to improve efficiency with the inspection process.

Complex bridge inspections have included several notable structures:

  • Fracture critical inspection of the Hoan Bridge, including interior and exterior inspection of the steel box shaped tie girder. This structure contains a number of fracture prone details and has a long history of crack detection and mitigation by the State of Wisconsin.
  • In-depth and fracture critical inspections of the steel tub-girder bridges in the Zoo Interchange, Mitchell Interchange, and Marquette Interchange. These inspections require hands-on inspections of both the interior and exteriors of the tub girders. Access has been gained using snooper trucks from above or aerial lifts from below. All inspections have required staged closures of traffic that impact major system ramp traffic movements, and typically must be done on weekend mornings.
  • Fracture Critical inspection of the Cemetery Access Road “K-Frame” bridge. Near the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium, and just west of downtown Milwaukee, a steel double K-Frame structure spans IH-94 EW. The steel spans are fracture critical and have a history of fatigue crack initiation. Benesch has performed the fracture critical inspection several times over the past few years, which requires understanding the stress patterns in the structure and the impacts on the many complex welded details. Traffic control staging for this inspection is significant, requiring staged closures of both directions of mainline freeway.

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