Common reasons for bridge failures

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Common reasons for bridge failures

One of the most vital services we offer is our concrete condition surveys. With a survey, we ensure that your structures are in a sound state. Some issues are difficult to spot with your bare eyes. As a result, we use specialist techniques and equipment to spot them before they get worse.

Professionals use concrete during the construction of bridges. The last thing you want with one of these structures is a failure. They can result in all kinds of incidents. These aren’t easy to rectify either. For this reason, inspectors, managers, construction workers, and designers take their work seriously. It’s the same with us when we conduct our surveys.

There’s one ideal way of stopping these calamitous events. It is to identify the factors that lead to bridges failing. We’re going to discuss the main reasons for this below.


Floods are one of the main contributors to failure. The climate is constantly changing. Consequently, we’ve had to experience more extreme weather events. These result in flood-related damage to bridges. However, the majority of this damage isn’t solely from water. In floods, rivers accumulate debris like rocks and trees. When the water flows it can push these against the bridges forcefully. As a result it can cause the damage to the structure. The foundations eventually wash away too.

Materials or design problems

There are bridges that fail almost instantly following completion. This tends to be because of complications with construction materials or design errors. Surveys like ours can take place during the construction stage. They can give you the fresh insight to spot flaws and problems. It’s not as common to come across this situation today however. Regardless, it’s still a possibility.

At Churchill Concrete Technology, we check out all the essential spots when we do concrete condition surveys. This includes areas that aren’t always visible. Bridge pillars across bodies of water and basements are good examples. Never leave these alone and assume they will last; they might have the worst wear.

If you have any worries about your structures, please contact us.