Riveting Video of Golden Gate Bridge Close-Up Inspection Using Rope Access
Having previously completed fracture critical bridge inspection services for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) on portions of the bridge below the roadway deck in 2015 and 2017, we were back in April 2018 to inspect the towers below the roadway. In May, our team accessed the top of the 746-foot tall suspension span towers by walking up the three-foot diameter main suspension cables, inspecting the towers using rappelling ropes anchored at the top. While the towers are not considered fracture critical components, we’re inspecting every seam and rivet, looking for corrosion, cracks, loose fasteners and any potential issues that could impact the structure’s integrity.
For this large, complex project, we work with our legacy partner, Ropeworks, that provides the rigging technicians to install and anchor our ropes so that our engineer inspectors can concentrate on inspecting the structure. All inspectors and technicians are certified by the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) as Level I, II or III depending upon duties performed. In addition, our engineer inspectors maintain Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) certification as Bridge Inspection Team Leaders.
This is the first time an up-close, visual inspection has been performed on the towers of this iconic structure, which has drawn a lot of attention. Numerous camera crews and throngs of San Francisco visitors have been riveted by the sight of workers dangling from ropes. This Channel 5 CBS San Francisco Bay Area clip shows views from our engineer inspectors’ GoPro cameras along with interviews of our Project Manager Jason Nauman and Bridge Engineer Nick Clark as well as quotes from District representative Priya Clemens and visiting tourists.
“As engineers, we’re proud to be involved in the inspection and maintenance of such an iconic structure that is also so vital to the San Francisco Bay Area. Working on this project has been a highlight of my career. I am humbled to be a part of the team protecting the integrity of the Golden Gate Bridge for the safety of the traveling public,” Nauman said.