The primary focus of the Bridge Inspection Unit is to perform bridge safety inspections, prepare bridge load ratings and perform load posting compliance verification in accordance with the National Bridge Inspection System for the approximately 2900 MassDOT owned and 1500 municipally owned bridges in the Commonwealth.
The Bridge Inspection Unit is composed of Boston headquarters staff and District Bridge Inspection Units in each of the five MassDOT Districts. The headquarters staff provides program oversight, management of inspection and load rating consultant contracts, maintains the bridge history file, and provides Quality Assurance of the unit's operations.
The District Bridge Inspection Units, each headed by a District Bridge Inspection Engineer (DBIE), have between two and five two-person inspection teams, depending on the number of bridges in the District. These in-house teams, supplemented by consultants, perform approximately 2400 above water bridge inspections per year.
The Bridge Inspection Unit also has an Underwater Operations Unit that performs underwater inspections of bridge members for all bridges over water in the Commonwealth where some of the members can only be accessed by diving. This unit has five full-time divers, supplemented by 20 part-time divers drawn from MassDOT engineers who have passed a comprehensive in-house dive-training program.
The Bridge Inspection Unit also manages five regular bridge inspection consultant contracts, ten regular bridge load rating consultant contracts, two complex bridge inspection consultant contracts and two complex bridge load rating consultant contracts.
All bridge inspectors and full-time divers have laptops that they use to enter the bridge inspection reports, including text, computer prepared sketches and photographs, directly into the MassDOT Bridge Inspection Management System database. The reports are uploaded into the District computer server, where the DBIE's perform a Quality Control check, and, after the DBIE's approval, the reports are uploaded to the central server in the Boston headquarters office, where they receive a final Quality Assurance check after which they are archived electronically. This allows all authorized MassDOT users direct access to the inspection reports from their desktop computers without having to search for paper copies of the reports.
In the Spotlight
Active Project List [PDF - 231KB]
ABP UpdateThrough August 1, 2013 the MassDOT Accelerated Bridge Program has advertised 179 construction projects with a combined construction budget valued at $2.16 Billion.
Of these 179 advertised construction projects:
- 140 have already, or will, repair/replace 259 bridges throughout the Commonwealth.
- 39 are maintenance/preservation projects which provide work to improve the safety of many additional bridges in the Commonwealth.
- 177 have been awarded to a contractor.
- 138 have been declared complete by MassDOT (or DCR) with two additional contracts terminated and the remaining scope transferred to other contracts.