Preparing your bridge for spring

Zhaozhou-bridgeWe’ve survived the winter, but as we move through the seasons we need to ensure that our bridges are in tip-top condition. As the seasons start to become warmer our bridges will respond in different ways, bending and flexing, swelling and shrinking as the temperature changes.

Ensuring safety throughout the year is vital, and Spring is an opportune time to do this.

If you have used an anti-slip surface such as Traffideck be sure to check how it has weathered over the winter. Are there any flaws in the coating? Traffideck, in particular, is great at fixing those minor blemishes that can affect the whole performance of your bridge surface.

Other maintenance jobs for the spring will include: Washing, checking rails and deck joints, ensuring rust is treated and if based in a salty atmosphere a repaint is often required. If rails are wooden a good quality coating to help preserve it over the coming months will ensure longevity.

Any obvious damage to the bridge will also need to be prepared ready for repair. If you have a wooden structure check for any obvious splintering or splits, especially at the entrance and exit points. If they require replacement ensure you treat the new surface with your choice of an anti-slip surface as well as any other wood treatment felt necessary. If animals are nesting or damaging the structure of the bridge you will need to consider how to manage this. Call your local wildlife centre for the most up to date information on what animals you can and cannot disturb during the spring period.

It is important to ensure that any signage associated with the bridge is clean, clear and undamaged – this will help to ensure that those using the structure are adequately prepared. Do you have a required speed limit? Do any signs need repainting?

With all this in mind, be sure you wear the correct safety equipment and be sure that no chemicals are left to enter the water system.

Following these simple steps will help to ensure your bridge is prepared for the seasons ahead.

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