Today's News

FHWA launches new bridge safety initiative (3/21)

March 21, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a new and improved bridge oversight initiative that will enable the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to more closely monitor how states are performing their bridge inspections and maintenance.

The new approach allows FHWA to more clearly and easily identify bridge issues in each state. Previously, FHWA prepared a written assessment of a particular state’s bridge inspection program based on the outcome of a general review of key inspection areas. Under the new system, FHWA will replace the narrative with an actual grid of 23 specific inspection program areas to identify potential safety challenges more easily. Inspection areas include such items as bridge load limits, loss of sediment from the foundation due to erosion and inspection frequency by individual states. Because the new system is based on more objective data, it provides for more consistency in the bridge inspection program nationwide and more targeted approaches to identifying problem areas in specific states.

In addition, during the last year, FHWA performed supplementary error-checks on data submitted by states, conducted workshops and created working groups with states, industry and academia to promote and share best practices in bridge inspection and preservation.

“We take our stewardship role very seriously,” Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. “As part of our ongoing commitment to the bridge program, we have adopted these measures to ensure the continued safety of our nation’s bridges.”

A Minnesota bridge collapse in 2007 that claimed the lives of 13 people – included workers who were resurfacing the bridge at the time – raised questions about the conditions of bridges nationwide, some of which have been in heavy usage for many decades.

President’s Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget calls for $70.5 billion to maintain and build roads and bridges, including $320 million for bridge inspections. The proposal would reduce the backlog of bridge rehabilitation projects first identified in 2006 by 50 percent by 2017. Since 1994, the percentage of bridges in the worst condition has declined from 19.4 percent to 12 percent.

The FHWA monitors the safety of bridges through federal inspection regulations and the oversight of state programs. It also provides funding to assist states in replacing and rehabilitating and preserving bridges.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE's Safety 2013 Review

A photo gallery from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 24 to 27. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

THE MAGAZINE

ISHN Magazine

ishn april 2014 issue cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out features about safety in the oil and gas industry.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2014

ISHN0114_FDO_cov.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEJANUAYR 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.