Chapter 3: Qualifications and Responsibilities of Bridge Inspection Personnel

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Section 1: Requirements

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Federal Requirements

The NBIS have specific qualification requirements for individuals working in the bridge inspection program of a state. These are summarized as:

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  • The individual in charge of each organizational unit (the Bridge Inspection Branch of the Bridge Division or the project manager for each firm under contract with TxDOT to perform bridge inspections) must:
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    • be a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas or have a minimum of ten years experience in NBIS bridge inspection experience; and
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    • successfully completed an FHWA approved comprehensive bridge inspection training course.
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  • The individual in charge of any bridge inspection team (Team Leader), regardless of type, must:
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    • have the same qualifications as above, or
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    • be a Licensed Professional Engineer and have successfully completed an FHWA comprehensive bridge inspection training course, or
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    • have a minimum of five years experience in NBIS bridge inspection and have successfully completed an FHWA approved comprehensive bridge inspection training course, or
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    • have all of the following:
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      1. a bachelor's degree in engineering from a college or university accredited by or determined as substantially equivalent by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology; and
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      3. successfully passed the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Fundamentals of Engineering examination;
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      5. two years of NBIS bridge inspection experience; and
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      7. successfully completed an FHWA approved comprehensive bridge inspection training course; or
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    • have all of the following:
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      1. an associate's degree in engineering or engineering technology from a college or university accredited by or determined as substantially equivalent by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology; and
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      3. four years of NBIS bridge inspection experience; and
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      5. successfully completed an FHWA approved comprehensive bridge inspection training course.
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  • The individual charged with the overall responsibility for load rating bridges must be a registered professional engineer.
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  • An underwater bridge inspection diver must complete an FHWA approved underwater diver bridge inspection training course or an FHWA approved comprehensive bridge inspection training course.
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  • Any individual required to have successful completion of an FHWA approved comprehensive bridge inspection training course must also successfully complete an FHWA approved bridge inspection refresher course. This course shall be repeated every five years beginning on the first five-year anniversary of successful completion of the comprehensive training course.
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TxDOT Additional Requirements

At a minimum, all bridge inspection activities performed by TxDOT and by TxDOT bridge inspection consultants must comply with Federal requirements. In addition to Federal requirements for bridge inspection personnel, some roles may require more specific job-related knowledge and skills such as:

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  • The use of breathing apparatus for underwater inspection.
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  • The various applicable requirements for inspection safety including applicable Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, such as requirements for working in confined spaces and at heights.
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  • Advanced computer skills related to bridge analysis.
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  • Geotechnical and hydrological knowledge.
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  • Familiarity with TxDOT bridge construction specifications and with current and historical TxDOT bridge designs.
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  • Expertise in the use of Non-Destructive Testing equipment.

TxDOT also has special requirements for consultants contracted to perform bridge inspection tasks. All firms and their staff acting as Project Managers and/or Team Leaders must be pre-certified. Further information on consultant requirements is presented later in this chapter in Section 3 titled “ Bridge Inspection by Consultants.”


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