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Section 4: Inspection Documentation

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Inspection File Contents - On System Bridges

The following documentation is to be completed for each on-system bridge.

  • Bridge Inspection Record – Delineates the basic components of the bridge to be inspected. Enter a rating for each element of each component following guidelines from the National Highway Institute (NHI) Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges two-week training course and in accordance with the current TxDOT Bridge Inspection Manual Coding Guide. For any rating of seven (7) or below, include comments explaining the rating in the report. This form also includes the appraisal of the traffic safety features, waterway adequacy and approach alignment. Include the typed name and signature of the Inspection Team Leader on each form. The Engineer must sign, seal, and date the form. Include on the form the Engineer's firm number. Scan a signed and sealed copy and import it into PonTex.
  • Bridge Inspection Follow-Up Action Worksheet – Summarizes the areas of deterioration of the bridge and recommends how the bridge should be repaired. Reflect the TxDOT maintenance section number clearly on this form. The Engineer must sign, seal, and date the form. Include on the form the Engineer's firm number. Scan a signed and sealed copy and import it into PonTex.

    NOTE: One extra copy of this form is required for each on-system bridge, grouped by Maintenance Section to include all bridges within that Maintenance Section. Submit these copies to the District Bridge Inspection Office at the end of the work authorization, and they will be transmitted to TxDOT maintenance personnel by the District Bridge Inspection Office.

  • Bridge Inspection Follow-Up Action Worksheet Summary – Summarizes the information from the Bridge Inspection Follow-Up Action Worksheets of all the bridges assigned in the work authorization. Submit the electronic worksheet, in Microsoft Excel format, to the District Bridge Inspection Office at the end of the work authorization. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Elemental Data Inspection Record – Collect elemental data for use in the State's Bridge Management Information System (BMIS) for all on-system structures. Collect information per span, with the exception of culverts which are to be collected by the structure. The Engineer will determine the Elemental Data and quantities in each condition state for each on-system bridge. Do this in accordance with the State's "Elements" Field Inspection and Coding Manual. Special training is required if such training has not already been completed. Enter the information from these records into PonTex. Print the "Element Inspection Detail Listing" report from PonTex and include it in the Bridge Inspection Record. Field forms and other summary list will not be required. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Bridge Inventory Record – Provide a description of the bridge with a detailed sketch on the reverse side. If there have been no changes to the structure and the existing description and sketch properly represent the condition in the field, a new form is not necessary; maintain the existing form in the file with no modification by the Engineer. Sketches are not required if plans are in the file. Scan and import the form into PonTex. If there is no form in the file, a new form is to be completed by the Engineer. If plans are unavailable, complete both sides of the form. If plans are available, complete only the front side. Show the maintenance section number on the form. The Engineer must sign, seal, and date the form. Scan a signed and sealed copy and import it into PonTex. If major (structural) changes have been made to the structure, complete a new "Bridge Inventory Record" form that is signed and sealed by the Engineer. Scan and import the document into PonTex.
  • Bridge Inventory Record Revisions – Use this form only for minor (non-structural) changes to the Bridge Inventory Record. (Do not sign and seal.) Scan and import the document into PonTex.
  • Channel Cross-Section Measurements Record – Complete this form for each span bridge over a waterway (whether the waterway is wet or dry). This form is not required for culverts. The Engineer will take measurements on the upstream side of the bridge starting at the abutment. Take the measurements from a fixed bridge reference down to the channel bed. Take these measurements at each bent, at each significant change in the channel bed, and at the mid-point of the channel. Record the horizontal distance between each vertical measurement, as well as the cumulative horizontal distance from the beginning of the bridge abutment. Record several reference dimensions, including top of water level (see the form). The Engineer must add comments on the back of the form. Scan and import the document into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Upstream Channel Cross-Section Sketch – Required for span-type bridges only. (Culverts do not require an upstream channel sketch or any update to any such sketch that may be already in the file. Calculations of sediment material quantities are not required.) If there is an existing channel cross section plotted to scale in the inspection record, bring it forward into the current report and plot the new data on it in a different color ink. The Engineer is to initial and date the new plot. If the channel profile has not changed from the previous inspection, the Engineer is to initial and date a note stating that no significant change has occurred. For all bridges that have plans available, plot the channel section on a copy of the bridge layout sheet(s) from the plans. Insert two (2) copies of the layout into the file: one copy will act as a "work copy," for plotting and maintain the other copy as a clean, master copy. If plans are not available, draw a sketch using appropriate scale. It is acceptable for the horizontal and vertical scales to differ. Scan the sketch and import it into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Underclearance Record – Record horizontal clearance information for on-system underpasses only. Draw a brief sketch indicating dimensions and reference points for collected horizontal clearance data. Provide all dimensions from a fixed reference point. Ultrasonic measuring is not acceptable. Scan the record and import it into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)
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Inspection File Contents - Off System Bridges

The following documentation is to be completed for each off-system bridge.

  • Bridge Inspection Record – Delineates the basic components of the bridge to be inspected. Enter a rating for each element of each component following guidelines from the National Highway Institute (NHI) Safety Inspection of In-Service Bridges two-week training course and in accordance with the current TxDOT Bridge Inspection Manual Coding Guide. For any rating of seven (7) or below, include comments explaining the rating in the report. This form also includes the appraisal of the traffic safety features, waterway adequacy and approach alignment. Include the typed name and signature of the Inspection Team Leader on each form. The Engineer must sign, seal, and date the form. Include on the form the Engineer's firm number. Scan and import the document into PonTex.
  • Elemental Data Inspection Record – Collect elemental data for use in the State's Bridge Management Information System (BMIS) for all off-system structures for specific bridge owners as detailed in the work authorization. Collect information per span, with the exception of culverts which are to be collected by the structure. The Engineer will determine the Elemental Data and quantities in each condition state for each off-system bridge. Do this in accordance with the State's manual entitled, Elements: Field Inspection and Coding. Special training is required if such training has not already been completed. Enter the information from these records into PonTex. Print the "Element Inspection Detail Listing" report from PonTex and include it in the Bridge Inspection Record. Field forms and other summary lists will not be required. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Bridge Inventory Record – Provides a description of the bridge with a detailed sketch on the reverse side. If there have been no changes to the structure and the existing description and sketch properly represent the condition in the field, a new form is not necessary; maintain the existing form in the file with no modification by the Engineer. Sketches are not required if plans are in the file. Scan and import the form into PonTex. If there is no form in the file, a new form is to be completed by the Engineer. If plans are unavailable, complete both sides of the form. If plans are available, complete only the front side. The Engineer must sign, seal, and date the form. Scan a signed and sealed copy and import it into PonTex. If major (structural) changes have been made to the structure, complete a new Bridge Inventory Record form that is signed and sealed by the Engineer. Scan and import the document into PonTex.

    NOTE: For off-system bridges, these forms and sketches serve as as-built plans in many cases because original plans are not available. When plans are available and copies are included in the file, a detailed sketch is not required; however, the Engineer must complete the front side of the Bridge Inventory Record.

  • Bridge Inventory Record Revisions – Use this form only for minor (non-structural) changes to the Bridge Inventory Record. (Do not sign and seal.) Scan and import the document into PonTex.
  • Channel Cross-Section Measurements Record – Complete for each span bridge over a waterway (whether the waterway is wet or dry). This form is not required for culverts. The Engineer will take measurements on the upstream side of the bridge starting at the abutment. Take the measurements from a fixed bridge reference down to the channel bed. Take these measurements at each bent, at each significant change in the channel bed, and at the mid-point of the channel. Record the horizontal distance between each vertical measurement, as well as the cumulative horizontal distance from the beginning of the bridge abutment. Record several reference dimensions, including top of water level (see the form). The Engineer must add comments on the back of the form. Scan a copy and import it into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Upstream Channel Cross-Section Sketch – Required for span-type bridges only. (Culverts do not require an upstream channel sketch or any update to any such sketch that may be already in the file. Calculations of sediment material quantities are not required.) If there is an existing channel cross section plotted to scale in the bridge inspection record, bring it forward into the current report and plot the new data on it in a different color ink. The Engineer is to initial and date the new plot. If the channel profile has not changed from the previous inspection, the Engineer is to initial and date a note stating that no significant change has occurred. For all bridges that have plans available, plot the channel section on a copy of the bridge layout sheet(s) from the plans. Insert two (2) copies of the layout into the file: one copy will act as a "work copy," for plotting and maintain the other copy as a clean, master copy. If plans are not available, draw a sketch using appropriate scale. It is acceptable for the horizontal and vertical scales to differ. Scan the sketch and import it into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Underclearance Record – Complete this form for all grade separations, including pedestrian, utility, and railroad underpasses. Draw a brief sketch indicating dimensions and reference points for collected vertical and horizontal clearance data. Reference in Item 54.2 the exact minimum vertical clearance under the structure. The vertical clearance sign must read at least 3 in. lower than the minimum measured vertical clearance of the roadway. Ultrasonic measuring is not acceptable. Scan the sketch and import it into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)
  • Bridge Summary Sheet – Complete this form for all off-system bridges. Summarize each component rating, areas of deterioration of the bridge, and recommend how to repair the bridge. Indicate previous, observed and recommended load posting, record current status of all signs, and denote materials needed to properly post the bridge. The Engineer must document the condition, location, and number of all signs in place on the date of inspection for all load posted bridges. Also record the load limit shown on existing load posting signs. Document these signs with legible photographs. The Engineer must sign, seal, and date the form. Scan a copy and import it into PonTex.
  • Summary of Needed Load Posting Materials – Use this summary to order signs/hardware needed for load posting on off-system bridges. Prepare a summary for each county, precinct and/or city, as agreed upon with the District Bridge Inspection Office, to insure each local jurisdiction has the materials necessary to properly post all of their bridges. Submit the summary to the District Bridge Inspection Office, never directly to a local jurisdiction. Complete the summary using the form supplied by the State. Scan a copy and import it into PonTex. (Do not sign and seal.)

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