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E – 1540 – FHWA – Bridge Inspection Programs

Intended Audience: civil, construction, and structural engineers



The Federal Highway Administration’s Bridge Inspector’s Reference Manual (BIRM) is a comprehensive manual on programs, procedures, and techniques for inspecting and evaluating a variety of in-service highway bridges.  BIRM serves as the basis of a comprehensive National Highway Institute training program in bridge-safety inspection. The present course is based on BIRM’s Chapter 1, Bridge Inspection Programs, and discusses

  1. the history of the National Bridge Inspection Program;
  2. responsibilities of the bridge inspector; and
  3. quality control/quality assurance.

This course is intended primarily for civil, construction, and structural engineers, and would be of particular interest to consulting engineers or to engineers serving in government organizations concerned with the safety of bridges.

 This course is based on Chapter 1 (Bridge Inspection Programs) of the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Inspector’s Reference Manual, Publication No. FHWA NHI 12-049, December, 2012.

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Be familiar with the history of the national bridge inspection program;
  • Know today’s national bridge inspection program;
  • Understand the responsibilities of the bridge inspector;
  • Know the qualifications needed to be a bridge inspector; and
  • Be familiar with a framework for implementing quality control and quality assurance methods in a bridge inspection program.

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