Bridge & Culvert Safety Inspections

To be eligible for Federal Highway Funds, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) mandates that each state establish a methodology to inspect and report bridge and culvert deterioration in compliance with the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS). State and Federal laws and DOT policies mandate frequencies of inspections ranging from a monthly cycle to once every four years with the typical bridge or culvert inspection occurring every two years.

The primary objective of any bridge management system (BMS) is to make the best use of available funds in the overall bridge maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement (MR&R) program. The City intends to meet this objective while maintaining a bridge and culvert infrastructure that is safe for public usage. Without regular maintenance, the overall condition of a bridge or culvert deteriorates over time. Therefore, a BMS must utilize accurate and accessible inspection information to predict a bridge's structural condition.

Bridges and culverts that are considered reportable structures are the ones with a span of 20 feet or greater. The City forwards these inspection reports to VDOT. Smaller structures in the City are inspected at the same level and reports are maintained internally.

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