Section 2: Bridge Maintenance

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Bridge, as used in this chapter, is defined as the following: "A structure including supports erected over a depression or an obstruction, such as water, highway or railway, and having a track or passageway for carrying traffic or other moving loads and having an opening measured along the center of the roadway, track or passageway of 20 feet or more between undercopings of abutments, backwalls, spring lines of arches or extreme ends of openings for multiple boxes or having an inside diameter of 20 feet or greater, in the case of pipes."

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Bridge Maintenance Policy

The structural and operational characteristics of all highway bridge and tunnel structures should be preserved as near as practical to the originally constructed or subsequently modified conditions.

The area below bridges and within tunnels or near their openings (portals) should be maintained free of flammable or explosive material. Flammable materials may include any number of items including construction materials and homeless encampments. Fuel tanks and cylinders of compressed gases should not be stored within 100 feet of a bridge or tunnel.

Bridge joints are the causes of many bridge problems. Bridge joints should be evaluated during the routine bridge inspection and if needed, cleaned and resealed.

Such objectives are accomplished by timely performance of preventive maintenance and repair as determined by constant alertness and deliberate inspection.

Documentation of all work performed on a bridge is to be provided to the district bridge inspection coordinator to ensure all relevant information regarding bridge maintenance is retained.

Documentation includes what work was done, when it was completed, who performed the work (contract or in-house), and the cost.

Include photos of the completed work to help with the documentation. The district bridge inspection coordinator will add all documentation provided to the permanent bridge record for each bridge.

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