GPR Concrete Scanning Reveals Potential Voids in Coast Guard Docks

GPR Concrete Scanning Reveals Potential Voids in Coast Guard Docks

A ground penetrating radar scanner in front of a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.
GPRS recently was honored to work with the U.S. Coast Guard, which required our ground penetrating radar (GPR) scanning services at their boatyard in Baltimore, Maryland.

From search and rescue missions and environmental preservation to security and defense operations, the U.S. Coast Guard does more for our country than most people will ever realize.

That’s why it’s vital that the boatyards where the nation’s longest seafaring service houses and repairs its fleet of vessels are always operating as safely and efficiently as possible.

GPRS Project Manager Mike French recently conducted ground penetrating radar (GPR) scanning and imaging services along the concrete bulkheads of the docks at the U.S. Coast Guard yard in Baltimore, Maryland.

“I was scanning along their bulkheads because they had some areas they were concerned about when it came to voids,” French explained.

French identified 11 areas of concern where voids could potentially be present.

“It wasn’t a guarantee that I found voids in all of those locations,” he said. “[Those areas] are just [areas of concern] to look into.”

GPR is the most widely used and accurate technology for visualizing what’s below ground or within concrete surfaces.

A non-destructive detection and imaging method, GPR can detect both metallic and non-metallic objects, giving it a wide range of applications. It reveals all types of utilities, including electrical conduit, steam pipes, telecommunications, gas, oil and water lines, and sewer & storm pipes. And it can also locate the presence of rebar, conduit, post-tension cable, and other structural elements hidden within concrete, and identify areas where voids may be forming.

French says there were a lot of buried utilities in the areas where he was scanning for voids, which created an additional level of complexity to the work.

Fortunately, GPRS certifies its Project Managers through the Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM), the industry-leading training program for utility locating and concrete scanning.

SIM requires that GPRS Project Managers receive 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training, during which they encounter real-world scenarios that prepare them for even the most unique challenges they may encounter in the field. Because French is SIM certified, he was prepared to tackle the unique infrastructure present at the U.S. Coast Guard yard in Baltimore.

“Sometimes, utilities give off an impression that there is something there, if you’re scanning over top of one,” French said. “[Or the void could look] like a utility. That’s why it’s good to scan in a grid pattern.”

Once French completed his GPR scans, he uploaded his findings into SiteMap®, GPRS’ industry-leading infrastructure and as-built management platform.

SiteMap® gives our clients instant access and control over their vital facility information powered by GPRS’ 99.8% accuracy in utility locating and concrete scanning.

French uploaded the areas of concern that he identified along the Coast Guard docks into SiteMap® so that, when the Coast Guard is ready to analyze the areas of concern he identified, they will know exactly where they need to dig. This ensures not only the efficiency of the project, but also the safety of those who will break ground.

French was proud to help ensure that the U.S. Coast Guard can continue to safely complete its invaluable work for our country.

“You wouldn’t want somebody in a forklift – and there were plenty of them down there – you wouldn’t want the ground caving in [underneath them],” he said. “That could mean major injury.”

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World™ to keep you on time, on budget, and safe. And with a nationwide team of elite Project Managers ready to respond to your jobsite wherever it is, you always have an elite utility locating, concrete scanning, video pipe inspection, leak detection, 3D laser scanning, and mapping & modeling company near you.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today.

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