Within the State of Kansas there are 105 counties and hundreds of cities responsible for the more than 20,000 bridges. These bridges are an integral part of our state's transportation system; they allow drivers to cross over valleys, waterways, railroad tracks, other highways, local roads and streets.
Bridges come in all types and sizes. Some are simply concrete boxes under roads that cross small streams to others that are lengthy structures comprised of concrete piers, steel girders, concrete decks, and guard rails. Regardless of the details, each is important and verifying that they are structurally sound is critical to the safety of the traveling public. To that end, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) with which states and localities must comply.
It is KDOT’s Bureau of Local Projects that is responsible for documenting bridge owners comply with the NBIS through a biennial inspection program. Unfortunately, the FHWA determined that Kansas was not in compliance with NBIS inspection and recordkeeping requirements. The Kansas Local Bridge Evaluation Program was started to address the shortcomings identified by the FHWA. The local bridge evaluation program is critical for Kansas to remain eligible for federal aid bridge funds.
To learn more about the Kansas Local Bridge Evaluation Program, click here.
Local Bridge Inspection Program
The National Bridge Inspection Standards are part of a federal regulation that applies to all structures defined as highway bridges on public roads. It sets forth the standards for proper safety inspection and evaluation of these structures. KDOT inspects bridges on the state system for compliance with the NBIS standards. Cities or counties that own bridges not on the state system are responsible for inspections of those structures. The inspections must be completed at least every two years, either by the local jurisdiction staff or by private contractors.