Tips in Hiring a Full-Service Bridge Painting Contractor

July 1, 2010

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Through the years, the transportation industry relies on the development and maintenance of major infrastructures such as highways and bridges to support the growth of the nation.  Such infrastructures provide uninterrupted and reliable access for all types of vehicles everywhere in the country.

Steel bridges repair and maintenance often pose a big logistical challenge to bridge owners and operators, particularly when steel bridges have begun to show severe signs of corrosion damages. 

Challenges in Bridge Repairs and Maintenance

In the past decades, bridge painting contractors use alkyd-based anti-corrosion paints to protect steel bridges from corrosive elements that contain a significant amount of lead in their formulation.  Through the subsequent years, any repairs and maintenance performed on bridges used the same kind of toxic and harmful lead-based formulation.  This is why any present day repairs and maintenance done on these lead-coated bridges compound logistical and cost issues.

Another challenge to bridge painting contractors is that because of the cost of maintaining these large-scale infrastructures, these structures seldom received regular maintenance in the past.  As a result, bridge painting contractors tasked in the present to conduct repairs and maintenance often encounter severe deterioration of the structures.

Bridge Coating and the Environment Issue

With the public growing more and more concerned for the safety of the environment, bridge painting contractors find that a major part of the challenge they face in bridge projects is compliance with environmental regulations and standards.  In recent years, bridge painting projects have been accompanied by public outcry over environmental impacts – from project planning, execution and post-implementation.  

The use of low-VOC protective coatings, lead removal and abatement, public safety, waste disposal, paint storage and handling, are just some of the issues that bridge painting contractors must address whenever bridge rehabilitation or maintenance is planned.

Bridge projects must comply with strict environmental regulations to protect the environment, the public and the bridge coating workers.  The bridge painting contractor should balance these concerns with cost and technical considerations so as not to compromise the quality of the project.

Bridge Painting Contractors

Because of the major challenges posed by bridge coatings projects, it should be entrusted to the best bridge painting contractors in the industry.  Below are some guidelines in how to choose the contractor for the job:

  1. Look for coatings specialists that have a deep knowledge database of protective coatings and formulations.
  2. Consider their bridge portfolio, focusing mostly on their ability to scale from small to large projects.
  3. Examine the methods and practices they use for heavy-duty bridge coating applications.
  4. Look for value-added skills essential to painting bridges, such as experience in steel or deck coatings, high rise projects, heavy machinery coatings, and the like.
  5. Assess their ability to deal with bridge coating issues such as traffic control, worker and environment safety, adjacent property protection, work schedules and bridge closure avoidance, among others.

A bridge painting contractor with hands-on experience in many successful bridge projects and has cross-trained in essential tasks will ensure the success of the project, achieving the deliverables by addressing the pertinent issues and surmounting large challenges of the job.

Questions or comments?

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