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Section 13: Critical Inspection Findings (CIFs)

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Critical findings are defined in the NBIS as “a structural or safety related deficiency that requires immediate follow-up action or inspection.” The following criteria are used to define a critical finding:

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  • Condition rating of 3 or less for any one of Items 598 (Deck), 59 (Superstructure), 60 (Substructure), 61 (Channel Protection), or 62 (Culvert)
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  • A coding of 2 or less for Item 113 (Scour Critical Bridges)
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  • New or updated (lower) load posting recommendations or other load posting needs, such as missing/incorrect signs. (Recommendations to remove a load posting or to increase the limits of a posting are not reason for CIFs. However, if there is a missing sign and a recommendation for a higher posting limit occurring simultaneously at a bridge, that would qualify as a CIF.)

TxDOT will act on a Critical Finding within 30 days of receiving notification via the Bridge Division e-mail address ( The actions in the 30 day timeframe are inclusive of immediate actions needed, as well as necessary follow-up items. This is not meant to imply that all actions will be completed within 30 days. Rather, the appropriate action will depend on the specific situation and conclusions will vary. The safety threat will be addressed within 30 days which might mean a full or partial closure instead of a timely repair.

Bridge Division will continue to track each individual Critical Finding until all follow-up actions are completed. The deadline for completing all follow-up items will be 24 months from the official notification date. Bridge Division submits a Critical Findings Tracking spreadsheet to FHWA quarterly.

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