– We are required by the federal government (FHWA) to perform safety inspections on all bridges over 20' open to vehicular traffic. Each bridge inspector is required to attend and pass a two and one-half week bridge safety inspection training course to become a certified NBIS bridge safety inspector. These same inspectors are then required to take, and pass, a three day NBIS bridge refresher course every two years after the initial two and one-half week course.
The purpose of these inspections is to verify that each bridge meets the minimum safety requirements as set forth by FHWA as well as PennDOT. These inspections also help to identify any areas of the bridge that may require any form of maintenance. If any part, or parts, of a bridge fails to meet the minimum safety requirements, the City must either rehabilitate the bridge or possibly post the bridge to reflect any decrease in the vehicle load ratings. In the most severe cases, the City might have to close the bridge entirely.