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Underwater Inspection of Bridge Substructures Using Imaging

COURSE NO: S12-001
COURSE PROVIDER: Gilbert Gedeon, P.E.
Underwater Inspection of Bridge Substructures Using Imaging
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides basic information on the capabilities of sonar technologies in performing underwater bridge inspections and its benefits in supplementing dive inspectors to improve inspections.


The requirements for underwater bridge inspection procedures using divers are well documented within the U.S. However, some bridge inspectors and owners have increasingly been supplementing dive inspections with acoustic imaging technology to enhance inspection quality, increase safety, increase efficiency, and improve documentation of findings. This trend has accelerated, in part, because of advancements in sonar technology. The trend has also accelerated because site conditions adverse to dive inspections—such as limited underwater visibility, high velocity currents, submerged debris, and extreme water depths—exist at many bridge sites.


Because these adverse conditions can limit a diver’s ability to inspect a bridge below water, many states are investigating the use of sonar technologies for underwater bridge substructure inspection. FHWA provides overall guidance for these inspections and recognized the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the capabilities of sonar technologies for this important activity. In this study, a range of sonar technologies are evaluated in a variety of underwater conditions to determine how these technologies can be effectively used in conjunction with or independently of divers.


This 12 PDH online course is applicable to structural engineers and bridge personnel responsible for inspecting bridge foundations who are interested in applying sonar technologies for underwater bridge inspections.
Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Familiarizing with sonar technologies including three-dimensional sonar systems and two-dimensional imaging sonar
  • Familiarizing with sonar technology reliability by evaluating variations in the speed of sound, transducer head movement, interference and noise, acoustic multipath,transverse and range resolution, acoustic shadows, slant-range distortion and GPS accuracy
  • Learning about technology selection and the strengths and weaknesses of sonar technologies including 3D real-time multibeam, 2D multibeam and 3D mechanical multibeam 2D sector-scanning and 3D profiler and Dive equipment
  • Understanding underwater bridge inspection environment for concrete, steel and timber bridges
  • Understanding phase I and phase II field testing and evaluating their findings
Course Document
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, "Underwater Inspection of Bridge Substructures Using Imaging”, which is based on the FHWA document “Underwater Inspection of Bridge Substructures Using Imaging Technology”, reference FHWA-HIF-18-049, dated June 2018.
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of sixty (60) questions to earn 12 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: