Building an Air Bridge: Step-by-Step

It’s bound to happen to you eventually if it hasn’t already. You’re getting geared up for a project when you learn a pipeline runs right through the middle of your job site.

Chances are you won’t be able to drive heavy machinery over the pipeline, much less dig too close to it, and you’ll need an air bridge – lucky for you, Select Mat can help with that! But what steps do you need to take before you make that decision? Allow us to walk you through the process.

  1. Call 811

    You probably know to call 811 before you dig, but it’s a great resource for any job near a pipeline. Give the approximate location of your dig or pipeline crossing. The pipeline company is responsible to reach out to you within a set number of days.

  2. Get some information from the pipeline company

    When the pipeline company reaches out to you, you should be ready to ask them for the following information. What size vehicles or equipment can cross the pipeline without mats? What type and/or size of mats are needed? How much of a gap is necessary between the mat and the ground? Does their inspector need to be onsite for mat installation and removal?

  3. Relay this information to Select Mat

    Technically you could contact any matting company, but come on… let’s be real.

  4. Sit back and let Select Mat do the work

    Once Select Mat is onsite with one of our qualified project managers, we’ll get you set up with exactly what you need. In the case of an air bridge, you’ll be able to span the width of the pipeline and take your heavy machinery above it without risking any damage to the pipeline at all.

    We’ll set crane mats on either side of the pipeline at a distance according to the pipeline company’s recommendation and then run more crane mats over the top, connecting the two sides.

Once the crane mats are secure and in place, we’ll lay our composite mats over the top, filling in the gaps to ensure you have a perfectly smooth, gradual hill to traverse the pipeline.

Have more questions? Give us a call at 833-203-1515 or email us at and we’d be happy to help you out.