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Aug. 15, 2007

Underwater Inspections for Mid-Hudson Bridges

Highland, NY – Divers are surveying the underwater piers of four Hudson River spans this month as part of a regular inspection program by the New York State Bridge Authority.

The underwater inspections, which are performed every five years, are part of the rigorous monitoring and maintenance program that keeps these bridges safe and in good condition.

“We’ve done these types of inspections for years”, said Authority Chief Engineer Bill Moreau.  “It’s a “hands on” examination that alerts us to any maintenance that needs to be done well before any problems develop.”

Inspections are being done by the Castle Group.  Principal William J. Castle, P.E., who is doing some of the inspections personally, said he has found no significant issues to date and that the underwater portion of the Authority’s bridges are in good shape.

The inspections examine every aspect of the piers from the water line to the ‘mud line’ – the bottom of the river.  Below the river bed the piers are secured to pilings that reach to solid bedrock under the Hudson.

Underwater inspections have been completed at the Mid-Hudson Bridge and are taking place this week at the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.  Inspections are also scheduled this summer for the Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges.

Regular inspections of the bridge structures, roadways and other parts above the river by independent engineers confirmed that the five Authority bridges are “among the best maintained in the country”.

Castle, a licensed professional engineer with over 30 years of experience, is an expert in underwater inspections, having designed and taught underwater inspection programs at Penn State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. 

All divers conducting the inspections are certified commercial divers. 

Diver Bridge Inspection Long

Diver Bridge Inspection

Diver Ryan Lee examines a pier of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.


(L-R) Owner Bill Castle and certified inspection divers Ryan Lee and Drew Cashner are conducting underwater inspections of four Hudson River bridges.