FHWA launches bridge safety initiative

Washington – A new bridge safety initiative will closely monitor how states are performing their bridge inspections and maintenance, the Federal Highway Administration announced March 21.

According to a press release, FHWA’s previous system involved a prepared written assessment of a particular state’s bridge inspection program based on a review of key inspection areas. The new system replaces the assessment with a grid of 23 specific inspection program areas to identify potential safety challenges. Inspection areas include bridge load limits, loss of sediment and inspection frequency.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote in a recent blog that well-trained state, local and federal bridge inspectors will continue to provide bridge safety work in the field. President Barack Obama’s budget for 2012 proposed $70.5 billion for roads and bridges, including $320 million for bridge inspections.

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