FHWA Revises National Bridge Inspection Standards

Federal Highway Administration revises National Bridge Inspection Standards

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is revising its regulations on the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) effective January 13, 2005. FHWA said this action is necessary to address perceived ambiguities in the NBIS that have been identified since the last update to the regulation in 1988.

The changes clarify the NBIS language that is vague or ambiguous, and reorganizes the NBIS into a more logical sequence by field inspector and by those administering the highway bridge inspection programs at the State or Federal agency level.

The FHWA bridge inspection program regulations were originally developed as a result of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 that required the Secretary of Transportation to establish NBIS to ensure the safety of the traveling public. NBIS was limited to bridges on the Federal-Aid highway system, but the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 extended NBIS requirements to bridges greater than 20 feet on all public roads.

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