Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
Email

 


View all Research Highlights

America's Iconic Covered Bridges Documented With As Built Records

Laser scanning technologies further preservation efforts of historic covered bridges. Jim Wacker, Forest Service
Laser scanning technologies further preservation efforts of historic covered bridges. Jim Wacker, Forest Service
Snapshot: Laser scanning technology provides details of historic covered timber bridges
Summary:

Covered bridges are part of the fabric of American history and several hundred historic covered bridges still exist today. Although preservation is a high priority, the high cost of restoration, neglect, vandalism, and arson often take their toll. Many covered bridges are damaged and lost forever. One well-known bridge, featured in the film Bridges of Madison County, burned in 2003. Hurricane Irene destroyed a number of New England bridges in 2011.

To prevent these types of incidents from occurring and help preserve existing bridges, the National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record is working to document these historic structures. To assist in this effort researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory, the national research lab of the U.S. Forest Service, explored and developed laser scanning technologies that provide structural "as built" records in an accurate, quick, and cost-effective manner.

The Historic American Engineering Record Level I documentation consists of measured and interpretive drawings, large-format photographs, and written historical reports. Newer technologies such as laser scanning can provide as built records at a faster rate and with greater accuracy than previous assessment techniques.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Ross, Robert J.


Research Location:
  • FPL


External Partners:
  • City of Zumbrota, Minnesota
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • National Park Service (Department of Interior)
  • University of Minnesota Duluth

Fiscal Year: 2012
Highlight ID: 25
 
Related Research Emphasis Areas:
 
Resources: