Section 4: Bridge Maintenance and Improvement Program

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TxDOT has a large number of aging on-system bridges in its inventory. To date, nearly half are 50 years of age or older. Allowing bridge conditions to deteriorate to the point where replacement is required leads to higher overall costs and requires even greater funding to address bridge condition across the inventory. In order to maximize the useful life of a bridge, a systematic process for preservation and maintenance is integral to any bridge management program and will reduce overall life-cycle costs.

By dedicating additional funds for bridge maintenance, TxDOT Administration worked with the Bridge Division to develop the Bridge Maintenance and Improvement Program (BMIP). The program goal is to address bridge condition needs through systematic preventive maintenance to reduce life-cycle costs. The BMIP will improve physical conditions (not functionality) of on-system bridges by addressing any and all conditions that could limit its serviceability or longevity through continued deterioration. The Bridge Division anticipates that through effective preventive maintenance actions, the service life of bridges addressed by the program will be extended a minimum of 25 years, with only cyclic maintenance needed for the next 10 years.

The following are definitions for some of the common terms used when discussing eligibility for the BMIP.

Bridge Preventative Maintenance. A planned, cost-effective treatment that preserves, improves, or delays future deterioration of the condition of a bridge.

Bridge Cyclic Maintenance. Activities performed on a pre-determined interval to preserve the condition of a bridge or bridge element.

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Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the BMIP (Category 6 BMN), a bridge must have a condition rating of 5 or 6 for at least one of the following: deck, superstructure, substructure, culvert or channel. The bridge is not eligible for BMIP if it is eligible for HBP funding. Completed projects must have all element ratings of 7 or greater. In rare cases it may not be feasible to raise each element rating to a 7. In those circumstances, a report explaining why the higher element rating was not achieved must be added to the bridge file. The report must include justification and an explanation of why the lower element rating will not affect service life or long-term durability. Restoring every element to these condition levels helps ensure the goal of obtaining another 25 years of service life.

In addition to general maintenance activities that address the structural condition ratings, specific work categories are listed below for inclusion and exclusion related to eligibility of this funding:

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  • Included Work Categories
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    • Re-decking projects when deck condition meets the BMIP criteria.
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    • Bridge raisings if the bridge has damage due to over-height impacts (superstructure equals 5 or 6 as a result of impact damage). Additional bridges could be included on a case-by-case basis to ensure that raising one does not move the impact problem to another bridge.
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    • Relief joints in concrete pavement and/or approach slab work if action helps to improve deck, substructure, or superstructure element ratings (limit of 40 feet from end of bridge).
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    • Approach guard fence, safety end treatment, and transition when associated with other approved work (up to 100 feet per bridge corner).
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    • Steel protective coatings. All painting projects under this program must use third-party paint inspection services provided and funded by the Construction Division.
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    • Post-tension repairs. Overview during implementation must be coordinated with Bridge Division to ensure inspection forces are experienced and trained in repair work.
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    • Retrofits of two-column bents and crash-wall installation.
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  • Excluded Work Categories
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    • Widening projects that require installation of additional substructure elements. Minor widening in conjunction with deck replacement that can be accommodated using the existing substructure will be eligible.
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    • Bridge replacements.
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    • Bridge rail replacement-only projects.
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    • Debris removal-only projects, although debris removal may be included when addressing other defects on the bridge through BMIP.
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    • Projects to address critical findings. While the Bridge Division remains available to assist Districts in responding to critical findings, it is not the goal of the BMIP to serve as a reactionary funding source to address such issues. The BMIP Committee may make exceptions to this rule in limited circumstances.
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Statewide Prioritization and Programming

Safety and improvement to the physical conditions of the State’s on-system bridges are TxDOT’s main goals in the prioritization of the bridges using BMIP funds. The Bridge Division will develop an initial list each FY of eligible bridges in each district and distribute to the districts for the annual program call. After reviewing the lists, Districts will provide: any additions desired; their desired FY; rankings to prioritize their projects; an initial estimate; and a scope of work for each project. The scope of work will follow the goal of restoring all condition states to a level of 7 or greater.

A BMIP Committee composed of Bridge Division, Maintenance Division, and District representatives will use the District-prioritized lists to compile a master statewide priority listing to narrow the number of projects down to match the annual fiscal funding cap of the program. Using this master list, Bridge Division will conduct condition surveys to verify the scope of work and the estimates provided. The results of the condition surveys may be used to adjust the project list and cost estimates. A final project list will be set by the BMIP Committee and will be posted as part of the Unified Transportation Program (UTP). A five year priority listing will be developed and maintained by the Bridge Division. All project eligibilities and priorities are subject to re-evaluation and change each year.

Anchor: #i1048661Table 2: Bridge Maintenance and Improvement Program Selection Process Schedule

Program Time


Time Frame

Action Items

List Development


1 month

BRG develops lists of all eligible BMIP projects.

Program Call

January - February

2 months

Districts select new candidates and update current estimates and lettings.

Candidate Project Selection


2 weeks

BMIP Committee develops candidate list from District-submitted projects and reviews current project changes.

Selection Comments and Special Considerations


2 weeks

Districts comment on selections and propose special considerations.

Candidate List Finalized


End of month

BRG prepares final candidate list with special considerations.

Candidate List Published


End of month

Final BMIP list sent to Districts and BRG PMs.

DCIS Updates to Current Projects


1 month

Districts submit DCIS changes to current BMIP projects.

Condition Surveys

April - September

6 months

BRG or Districts conduct condition surveys on candidate list. BRG review required.

Program Call Finalized


1 month

BMIP Committee finalizes program list and submits to BRG PM and FIN.

Build New Project CSJs


1 month

Districts build new CSJs from final list. FIN verifies with list provided.

Develop PS&E

Submit package 3 months pre-letting

9-24 months

District begins survey, permitting, and layout development. BRG review required.

Bridge Rehab Plans

Begin design no later than 6 months pre-letting.

Minimum 3 months

Bridge plans developed by District, Consultant, or BRG. BRG review required.

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