Nondestructive evaluation techniques, including the use of optical instrumentation (e.g., digital cameras), image processing and computer vision are promising approaches for structural health monitoring to complement sensorbased approaches. This study applies and evaluates the underlying technical elements for the development of an integrated inspection tool that is based on the use of commercially available digital cameras. The proposed system can help an inspector to visually assess a target structure remotely, without the need of having to travel to the bridge site, and by bypassing needed traffic detouring. Also, a contact-less vision-based crack detection methodology is introduced and evaluated. Illustrative examples are provided to demonstrate the capabilities as well as the limitations of the proposed vision-based approaches.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.