A country's road and rail networks are considered one of the strategic infrastructures that must be maintained in good condition to ensure the proper functioning of terrestrial communications.

The real impetus for this network has been developed since the 19th century, seeking to rehabilitate existing infrastructures and build new ones, using reinforced concrete, mainly in its different forms, for bridge inspection companies and viaducts. Therefore, it is clear that many of these constructions already accumulate a considerable number of years in service, so it is necessary to monitor their condition to guarantee, above all, the safety of users. All materials have a determined durability and useful life, including reinforced concrete that tends to develop pathologies such as carbonation over time.

Addressing the pathologies and deterioration suffered by these structures of a certain age as soon as possible is decisive for their conservation. If the degradation situations are too advanced, the action costs will skyrocket, and it is even more appropriate to carry out the demolition and then a new building.

Monitoring and technical inspections.
The way to guarantee the durability of the material and the structure is to have a maintenance plan that includes, among other things, a technical inspection policy that pays special attention to the signs of incipient pathologies that denote damage or defects. In the specific case of bridges, the most used material is concrete, and in some designs, there are also critical points, such as tie rods, so inspections must be adapted to their particularities. Some signs to pay special attention to are:

Chips, fissures and cracks.
Signs of rust and corrosion.
The detachment of the covering in columns, beams and slabs.
Loss of horizontality in beams and floors.
Loss of verticality or collapse of pillars.
Degradation or breakage of the braces or their anchors.
However, beyond organoleptic inspections, with the help of drones or with non-destructive tests, a very interesting option is the possibility of implementing a real-time monitoring system. By installing sensors at strategic points in the structure (accelerometers, displacement sensors, weather sensors) you can have full control over the state of the construction, particularly its key sections.

In addition, within the maintenance plan, there should be a routine preventive maintenance program that performs tasks of little complexity, such as:

Cleaning
Vegetation removal
Repainted
Surface treatments to improve the conservation of materials.
Drain cleaning
When any type of problem is detected, a larger intervention should be planned, that is, corrective maintenance that performs repairs and corrects breaks, cracks, foundation failures, structural reinforcements.

Author's Bio: 

When any type of problem is detected, a larger intervention should be planned, that is, corrective maintenance that performs repairs and corrects breaks.