BRIDGE SAFETY INSPECTION QUALITY ASSURANCE

The National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) were enacted by Congress in 1968 to regulate the inspection of highway bridges. Each highway agency in the U.S. is responsible for the inspection of the bridges in their jurisdiction. The importance of this program is demonstrated every few months with the news of another failure of one of this country's aging structures. Each failure draws the attention of the news media, special interest groups, and lawmakers to the agency responsible for the structure and to the NBIS program in general. Inevitably, when a bridge collapse is publicized, the responsible agency has to defend policies and procedures that seemed less important before the failure. Questions of negligence and liability are of concern to all associated with the structure. The parties involved learn quickly that it is not enough to update inspection reports at prescribed intervals. The inspection must meet appropriate quality standards. An ongoing quality assurance (QA) program can help provide and document the level of quality necessary to maintain public confidence in the agency. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recently implemented a program of in-depth reviews to evaluate targeted states' bridge inspection activities. An important element is the ongoing quality control performed by the agency. This paper describes the considerations in developing a statewide bridge safety inspection QA program. The procedures focus on the accuracy of the inventory and condition data, the uniformity of the condition judgments, and the level of inspection as it corresponds to the criticality of the bridge. The QA procedures are designed to provide objective and quantitative findings that may be used by management to make cost-effective improvements.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 1-8
  • Monograph Title: Third Bridge Engineering Conference: Papers Presented at the Third Bridge Engineering Conference, March 10-13, 1991, Denver, Colorado
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00611114
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309050677
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1991 12:00AM