700,000 Bridges Need Deterioration Inspection after 50 Years since Japan's Period of High Economic Growth

Bridges are familiar and vital in everyday life as an important part of society's infrastructure. They are built over land or water to serve as roads for transportation. In Japan, many social infrastructures were built before and after its period of high economic growth. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the number of bridges that have been in use for more than 50 years is expected at least 67% of the total number of bridges (whose construction years are known) by 2033 (*).

In the United States, where road infrastructure was developed earlier than in Japan, deterioration of the road infrastructure became a problem in the 1980s, which was then described as "America in Ruins." The deterioration problem of road infrastructure started to become evident in Japan as well, and periodic inspections were legislated in 2014, which requires periodic checks on 700,000 bridges across Japan once every five years. As a result, the need to carry out inspections more efficiently is greater than ever.

To meet these needs, Fujitsu has considered applying ICT to inspection tasks for bridges to raise the level of maintenance.