Improving and Investing in America's Inland Waterway Infrastructure and Port Infrastructure

Improving and Investing in America's Inland Waterway Infrastructure and Port Infrastructure

Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) grades various categories of America’s infrastructure in their land mark report, Infrastructure Report Card. Here, infrastructure refers to the basic systems and services that allow a country or organization to function properly.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

The American Society of Civil Engineers spearheads initiatives to analyze the condition and performance of American infrastructure and makes strategic projections regarding the necessary infrastructure investment in order to maintain, upgrade, and replace as our systems age and expand. GPRS, as a leading industry contractor, is uniquely positioned to support the glaring infrastructure needs facing our country, ensuring the safest and most efficient route to completing necessary and ongoing infrastructure projects and achieving critical infrastructure stability for future generations.

Two categories mentioned in the 2021 Report Card forAmerica’s Infrastructure are U.S. ports and inland waterways. In 2021, U.S. port infrastructure earned a B-, respectable, while still holding room for improvement. Navigational inland waterways, however, earned a D+.

US Port Infrastructure

US Port Infrastructure

US ports, including docks, piers, channel harbors, and more, are significant drivers of the US economy, supporting 30.8 million jobs in 2018 and 26% of the total GDP (Source: ASCE). In addition to carrying the burden of economic growth, our ports are challenged to maintain their infrastructure in harsh marine environments. Corrosion from saltwater and de-icing salts, constant wet and dry cycles, temperature variations, and more accelerate the rate of decline.

As many of our nation’s ports can trace their origins back a century or more, infrastructure investment for this category is focused on monitoring and maintaining structural integrity as well as modernization to accommodate larger cargo ships, container ships, cranes, and more.

GPRS is able to meet the safety demands of these critical construction projects with our Concrete Scanning services and technology. Our project managers are able to determine key slab information for structural engineers, including rebar and post-tension spacing and depth, concrete cover and overlay thickness, concrete thickness, and even dowel placement. With GPRS’ ability to scan complete concrete structures, we are not limited by size for structural analysis.

US Inland Waterway Infrastructure

The US inland waterway infrastructure comprises over 12,000 miles of inland navigation channels—also known as the U.S. freight network’s “water highway”—and includes locks and dams which must under go regular dredging in order to maintain the minimum depth and width needed to support commercial barge traffic.

US Inland Waterway Infrastructure

Insufficient federal funding for maintenance and repair shave led to a significant increase in unplanned system outages. Shippers using the inland waterway infrastructure system experience extraordinary losses when they can’t plan for these in advance and reroute or reschedule their shipments accordingly. Scheduled delays, while not necessarily desired, are set to conduct much-needed capital construction and major rehabilitation projects while minimizing the impact on operations.

With infrastructure projects to repair, maintain, and expand our inland waterways comes drilling and excavating, and knowing what lies beneath the surface is imperative to safe and efficient operations. Our Video Pipe Inspection department can discover, inspect, and map water and sewer systems by using robotic video pipe cameras, push cameras, and lateral launch cameras. Our VPI services produce a comprehensive map of underground systems, including hard to discover elements like lateral lines, so there are no unfortunate surprises after construction begins. The result of ground penetrating radar services provides accurate information that can be used in the planning process for maintenance, repairs, and expansion of our nation’s freight network, which we rely on to transport nearly 830 million tons of cargo annually (Source: ASCE).

Raising the Report Card Grade

U.S. ports and inland waterways are vital to the economic growth and supply chain success in our country, and as the federal government makes commitments in regard to improving and investing in these infrastructure projects, GPRS is uniquely positioned to assist on all fronts.

With our ground penetrating radar technology, such as Video Pipe Inspection, Utility Locating, and Concrete Scanning, GPRS can provide the information needed to carry out safe and efficient construction projects and facilitate infrastructure development initiatives through reports and drawings, CAD or MicroStation drawings, satellite image overlays, maps and sketches of subsurface facilities and reinforcement.

GPRS envisions a tomorrow with the capability of 100%subsurface damage prevention.