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Other Questions?

If your questions aren’t answered here, please visit the “Contact” page to reach program staff, or to submit a question using our comment form.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the Kansas Local Bridge Evaluation Program?

    The Kansas Local Bridge Evaluation Program is a unique multi-phase initiative to document scour critical and fracture critical bridges in the State of Kansas.

    The first phase was completed in 2010.  It confirmed select inventory data of all the bridges within the state, gathering information about bridge locations, types and existing action plans for the bridges. It also began the evaluation of each bridge for susceptibility to damage caused by river flow.

    Phase 2 will involve conducting (a) detailed evaluations of bridges over water features to determine whether they are in danger of being damaged or washed out due to the forces of waterways (scour critical evaluation) and (b) fracture critical inspections and load rating analyses to determine whether a bridge is of a type and physical condition making it susceptible to possible collapse in its current condition and arrangement. 

  • Why is the bridge evaluation program necessary?

    Upon review of the 2007 and 2008 National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) program data in Kansas, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) found that Kansas was not in compliance with some of the standards for documenting scour critical and fracture critical bridge inspection and analyses.   The State of Kanas then negotiated an agreement with the FHWA to address these shortcomings and thus this important program was initiated. 

    The information developed through this program will be uniform and consistent; information will be readily stored; and appropriate documentation of scour-related concerns will be documented for those bridges needing them. These analyses will serve as the foundation for future NBIS biennial inspections, and will make every effort to see that each of the more than 20,000 bridges receives equal consideration. This effort is necessary for Kansas to remain eligible for federal aid bridge funds.

  • What should local bridge owners expect in the early stages of the bridge evaluation program?

    The program spans four years of effort with a varied schedule among the 105 counties and hundreds of cities throughout the state.  However, KDOT is committed to timely communication throughout the duration of the program so that local bridge owners know what to expect. 

    To date, we have informed local bridge owners through memos and letters, have established a website to aid in communications and are identifying contact persons for each of the local agencies.  It is through these means that you can keep up-to-date regarding the bridge evaluation program.

    Throughout the process, KDOT or its project team will be contacting local bridge owners directly to request information regarding local bridges. It is through this shared communication and information exchange that the program will run most efficiently and ultimately result in meeting the Federal Highway Administration’s requirements.

  • What is expected of the bridge owners?

    Just as bridge owners helped out in the first phase of this program, KDOT is again asking for their assistance.  KDOT will work with the consultant team members to contact local bridge owners for reports, information and plans they might have regarding their local bridges.  By providing the information that is requested in a timely manner, KDOT’s work will be expedited. 

    KDOT encourages bridge owners to be informed about the bridge evaluation program.  Refer to the web page at http://KLBEP.ksdot.org for the most up-to-date information; call KDOT and consultant team members to ask questions; and attend training or presentations regarding the program.

    Lastly, local bridge owners should feel free to provide feedback on the process.  They can do so again by using the feedback form on the website or calling any of the project representatives.

  • How is the bridge evaluation program funded?

    Each year, the Federal Highway Administration allocates about $45 million to the State of Kansas for bridge maintenance, repair and construction.  Over the course of the next four years, about $20 million of the $180 million allocation will be used for the bridge evaluation program to meet the requirements established by the FHWA.

  • What does this mean for bridge maintenance and construction funds over the next four years?

    Over the next four years, about $5 million will be allocated annually to the Kansas Local Bridge Evaluation Program.  However, by using a consultant team, KDOT can approach the project by focusing on those structures posing the greatest risk and by achieving economies of scale, saving money in the long run. Ultimately, the bridge evaluation program seeks to bring the State into compliance with NBIS regulations so that federal aid funds will continue to be allocated to Kansas.

    Ignoring the FHWA concerns could result in loss of federal funding and is not a prudent option; thus, KDOT has committed to this widespread and aggressive approach to bring the bridge data into compliance and to do so at the least cost.

  • What is the schedule for the bridge evaluation program?

    The bridge evaluation program is expected to take a total of four years beginning in 2011.  However, it will not be “linear” in nature.  For example, in order to obtain and to process the information most efficiently, the program might have even concluded in some counties or cities before it begins in others.  KDOT can’t predict yet when any particular city or county will be completed.  However, KDOT will post program progess on the website.  You can find that information at http://KLBEP.ksdot.org.

  • Who is working on the bridge evaluation program? Why is a consultant team being used?

    This is a massive undertaking. In response, KDOT has secured the technical support of six consulting engineering firms to conduct the scour and fracture critical evaluations.  The firm of TranSystems acts as the program and data manager. By conducting the work in this manner, KDOT will be able to focus on those structures posing the greatest risk and by achieving economies of scale, saving money in the long run.  Further, it is anticipated that the process will be uniform and consistent; information will be readily stored; and focus can be placed those bridges really needing it. 

  • Who can I contact regarding the bridge evaluation program?

    KDOT wants to make sure you have the information you need regarding the bridge evaluation program.  The following people are available to answer any questions you might have.

      • For questions about the bridge evaluation program or the biennial inspection program, call Kent Anschutz in the KDOT Bureau of Local Projects at kenta@ksdot.org or 785.296.0263;
      • Questions regarding the schedule and consulting teams for the bridge evaluation program should be directed to TranSystems Project Manager Mark Shafer at mwshafer@transystems.com or 816.329.8750;
      • Media inquiries regarding the program should be asked of KDOT Public Involvement Liaison Josh Powers at joshuap@ksdot.org or 785.296.6580.

    • How can I learn more about the bridge evaluation program?

      KDOT is committed to keeping each bridge owner up-to-date on the process. We will do so with in-district meetings across the state, through the program website (which can be found at http://KLBEP.ksdot.org), and by other reasonable means when necessary. 

      At http://KLBEP.ksdot.org/events, you can find a schedule of events regarding the bridge evaluation program and upcoming meetings of interest.

      In addition, local bridge owners will be informed of whom to call to get their questions answered.  Please don’t hesitate to call:

        • Kent Anschutz in the KDOT Bureau of Local Projects at 785.296.0263;
        • TranSystems Project Manager Mark Shafer at 816.329.8750; or,
        • KDOT Public Involvement Liaison Josh Powers at 785.296.6580.

      • What was Phase 1 of this program and how is it different from this phase?

        Phase 1, completed last year, confirmed select inventory data of all the bridges within Kansas, which included gathering diverse information about bridge locations, types, and existing action plans for the bridges.

        Phase 2 builds upon the work conducted in Phase 1 by conducting (a) detailed evaluations of bridges over water features to determine whether they are in danger of being damaged or washed out due to the forces of waterways (scour critical evaluation) and (b) fracture critical inspections and load rating analyses to determine whether a bridge is a type susceptible to collapse in its current design, physical condition and arrangement.  These analyses will serve as the foundation for future NBIS biennial inspections and are vital components of the NBIS Program.

      • How is this overall bridge evaluation program different than the biennial inspection program?

        The biennial inspection program continues now and will do so in the future and it is important to note that the NBIS requirements have not changed. However, the work now being conducted by the consultant team will form the foundation for the future of the biennial inspection program, likely resulting in changes in the way the biennial program is administered.

        Today’s work is also required to bring the State’s bridge data into compliance with the FHWA’s requirements.

      • Our jurisdiction has always complied with the biennial inspection program. Why do we have to be a part of the bridge evaluation program?

        In 2007, the Federal Highway Association found that Kansas was not in compliance with standards for documenting scour critical and fracture critical bridge inspection and analyses.  While most local bridge owners hired inspectors to do the inspections, there were a variety of deficiencies in how some of the inspections were conducted. These deficiencies ranged from inaccurate structure locations to out-of-date traffic counts to incomplete scour analyses, to name a few.  This comprehensive, four- year approach seeks to identify deficiencies and provide a solid framework from which future inspections can be conducted.