Understanding the Different Maintenance Needs of Your Bridge

Whether privately or publicly owned, bridges have to be tended to regularly. The core goal of doing so is to safeguard those using the bridge (motorists and pedestrians), as well as the property around it, including nearby structures. Bridge maintenance also helps to prolong the life of the bridge, thereby curbing the high costs that would be required for new installations. If you own a bridge or are responsible for managing one, you will need to commission some of the following maintenance services at one time or another. 


Hoisted bridges depend on a rigging framework to keep the bridge platform suspended and balanced. For such bridges, maintaining the rigging system is crucial for the functioning of the bridge. This entails inspecting the rigging ropes/wires for damage and making the necessary repairs and replacements. It also involves evaluating if the rigging capacity needs to be expanded as the bridge becomes busier over time. In some cases, rigging in bridges requires tension adjustment to cater to the expansion and contraction changes caused by the different climatic seasons.

Road maintenance

Ensuring smooth flow of traffic is one of the main functions of a bridge so road maintenance is vital. This entails sealing cracks, repairing potholes, resurfacing paved areas and line marking, as well as installing bumps, lighting, and proper signs.


Drainage is crucial for all bridges to avoid flooding. This is done through maintenance services such as cleaning drain channels, installing drain pipes and downpipes and clearing culverts. Waterproofing may also be carried out to safeguard the condition of the bridge. This involves sealing timber structures, applying sealer paint coats to metal, rendering concrete with waterproofing plaster and applying waterproofing surface coats such as bitumen to the ground.

Guardrails & barriers

Guardrails and bridge barriers are vital for keeping traffic on the bridge. These should be inspected and either repaired or replaced if necessary with new/retrofit pieces. Where rope barriers are in use, these may be readjusted or re-tensioned to ensure that they keep anything from falling off the bridge. They may also be replaced with metal barriers for added security.


Last but not least, repairs are common during bridge maintenance. The most common include sealing joints (either concrete or timber) as well as replacing critical parts that may have lost their structural integrity. The latter mostly affects timber bridges whose supports are likely to rot over time. Metal bridges, too, have to be checked for rust and the affected parts replaced.

A well-maintained bridge requires fewer repairs over time and poses less liability risk. Talk to a bridge repair and maintenance firm and get advice on how to keep your bridge in sound condition.