Section 3: Initial Inspections

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The Code of Federal Regulations contains the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS). The NBIS require inventory information to be entered into the State's database within 90 days after the bridge is placed in service (begins carrying traffic).

District Bridge Inspection Coordinators are responsible for ensuring that initial inspections are performed on new bridges or when existing bridges are first entered into the database. This inspection provides a basis for all future inspections or modifications to a bridge. An initial inspection is also referred to as the inventory inspection since this is the inspection that facilitates adding the new bridge to the National Bridge Inventory. It can also be thought of as the first routine inspection.

Note initial deficiencies which might not have been present at the time of construction. Note changes in the condition of the site, such as:

Area Engineers must notify the District Bridge Inspection Coordinator when the bridge is opened to traffic.

The opening of a new bridge, particularly an off-system bridge, is a good time to ensure that a copy of the bridge plans are included with the Bridge Records described in Chapter 8 of this manual. Texas law2 requires a governmental entity that owns a bridge on a public road submit a copy of the final structural plans to TxDOT within 31 days after construction or rehabilitation is completed. In addition, it is important to ensure that all new bridges over waterways have a scour evaluation and load rating included with the bridge record submitted to TxDOT.

Prepare the electronic bridge record as a result of the Initial Inspection. A detailed description of the Bridge Record contents is given in Chapter 8 of this manual, Bridge Records. Be sure to include the required series of photos.

2. Submission of Bridge Design Plans to Department, Texas Transportation Code, Section 201.804.

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