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WisDOT Ancillary Structure Inspection

Various, WI

Fickett Structural Solutions has been retained by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to perform statewide ancillary structure inspections since 2010 and has performed numerous detailed inspections of sign structures, sign supports, and signal structures throughout the Southwest, Northeast and North Central Regions.  In addition, initial inspections have been performed on numerous structures to establish an inspection baseline and verify the correctness of the installation of each structure. 

Prior to starting inspections, Fickett develops a comprehensive work plan, which includes: WisDOT standards for traffic control; standard sign structure design details; and WisDOT standard traffic signal design details; inspection procedures according to the WisDOT Structure Inspection Manual; and a Health and Safety plan. Our inspection teams have inspected various types of structures including full span trusses, cantilevered trusses, butterfly trusses, high mast lighting towers, traffic signal mast arms, and bridge mounted structures. Due to the nature of these contracts, several work orders must be opened and managed simultaneously. Tasks performed under each individual work order include the following:

  • Inspection planning and preparation
  • Traffic control planning and entry into the WisDOT LCS system ‡
  • Lane and shoulder closures for each structure inspected
  • Detailed hands-on inspections of all ancillary structure components, which are accessed by climbing or by bucket truck
  • Use of a spotting scope for inspection of portions of high mast lighting towers not accessible from the ground
  • Ultrasonic testing (UT) of anchor rods on all high mast lighting towers, cantilevered structures, and full span monotube structures
  • Magnetic Particle Testing (MT) on steel structures with areas of suspected cracking
  • Torque testing of anchor rods on newly installed structures
  • Minor repairs, such as bolt tightening; sign clip replacement; and anchor rod tensioning per turn-of-nut method (Routine Inspections)
  • Creation of punch lists for contractor repairs while still on site (Initial Inspections)
  • Complete Structure Data Forms (Initial Inspections)
  • Asset management database data entry for each structure

All detailed inspections conducted by our inspection crews are pursuant to the recommended inspection frequency and in conformance with the approved procedures as listed in the WisDOT Structure Inspection Manual. Upon completion of Routine Inspections, a final master defect list is created and distributed to the WisDOT Regional Engineer to assist them in maintenance actions. All nondestructive testing (NDT) is self-performed with NDT trained/certified technicians using MT, UT, and dye penetrant testing protocols, as appropriate.

Fickett coordinates with WisDOT Regional Engineers for the Southwest, Northeast, North Central, and Northwest Regions to develop plans, specifications and estimate (PS&E) packages for the repairs of defects which are identified during the various inspection seasons. These repair contracts are split into separate submittal packages but are prepared simultaneously. Due to the unique nature of ancillary structure repairs, most bid items required special provisions to be developed for each specialized bid item. Extensive coordination was required between the Regional Staff, Regional Traffic Control Personnel and the Bureau of Structures to ensure all documents were reviewed in a timely manner to stay on the submittal schedule.


Wisconsin Department of Transportation