Highway Law Section 232
Uniform code of bridge inspection
1.Code development; rules and regulations. The commissioner shall, after public hearing, promulgate a uniform code of bridge inspection, hereinafter referred to as the “code”, by rule and regulation which shall be known as the uniform code of bridge inspection which shall, in all cases meet or exceed applicable federal law. The commissioner shall periodically review the code to ensure that it effectuates the purposes of this section. For the purpose of this section the term “bridge” shall refer only to bridges publicly-owned, operated or maintained as defined in § 230 (Definitions)section two hundred thirty of this article.
2.Periodic inspections. Any bridge publicly-owned, operated or maintained shall be inspected at least once every two years in accordance with the provisions of the code and shall be further inspected and/or evaluated at such other times as may be required therein. The code shall also set forth requirements for the interim inspections or evaluations and the scope of such inspections or evaluations where the structural integrity of a bridge is or has been threatened by a storm, flood, natural phenomenon, accident or manmade occurrence; where a bridge has known deficiencies; and where a bridge is posted for weight limits less than that which is legal on the highway leading to or from the bridge.
3.Minimum code requirements. The uniform code of bridge inspection shall require, but not be limited to, the following:
(a)provisions that all bridge inspections shall include a review of the most recent inspection report and, to the extent available and retrievable in the normal course of business and consistent with public safety, the most recent structural integrity evaluation, an examination of the design, as-built plans, contract documents, history of construction including any history of strucutural alterations, repairs, rehabilitation or maintenance;
(b)provisions for the establishment of a rating system keyed to the structural integrity and safety of the bridge;
(c)provisions that any aspect of a bridge that is not inspected at the time of the inspection or is determined by the supervising engineer to be uninspectable, shall be inspected as to its condition as soon thereafter as such aspect becomes inspectable provided, however, if judged to be permanently uninspectable such status and condition shall be noted;
(d)procedures for all underwater inspections;
(e)criteria and guidelines for approved scour indicator systems where a bridge has foundations subject to scour; and
(f)procedures for the temporary closing of a bridge and the notification of the commissioner.
4.Structural integrity evaluation.
(a)The code shall establish requirements for performing bridge structural and foundation system evaluations in conjunction with an inspection. The criteria for the need and frequency for these evaluations, which shall be referred to as a structural integrity, shall be keyed to the structural integrity and safety rating system required by the code. The code shall also provide for the scope and contents of such evaluations. Where applicable to the determination of structural integrity, these evaluations shall include an analysis of:
(i)where available and retrievable in the normal course of business and consistent with public safety, the design, design as-built plans, contract documents, and history of construction, structural alterations, rehabilitation, and maintenance repairs;
(ii)code changes since the time of original design;
(iii)the live load capacity rating in accordance with current specifications and/or accepted engineering practice and accounting for changes in volume and character of traffic;
(iv)the effect of relevant stream changes regarding water crossings;
(v)deterioration and modification to the original structure; and
(vi)a life cycle projection of the scope and estimated cost of maintenance, repair, and/or rehabilitation in order to provide criteria for comprehensive bridge management and safety.
(b)Each structural integrity evaluation performed in accordance with by paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall also include a ten year life cycle projection, the purpose of which is to estimate the scope and cost of maintenance, repair and rehabilitation in order to provide criteria for comprehensive bridge management and safety.
5.Inspections and inspection reports.
(a)All bridges shall be inspected and evaluated by licensed professional engineers or by any other person who is under the direct supervision of such an engineer providing such engineer is present at the time of inspection and evaluation. Any such engineer who shall either perform or supervise an inspection or evaluation shall be referred to as the inspecting engineer and shall meet the qualifications for previous bridge design, construction or inspection experience as prescribed by the commissioner. All inspections and evaluations shall be reported on forms prescribed by the commissioner, subscribed by the inspecting engineer and filed with the commissioner within sixty days of the completion of the inspection or evaluation. The commissioner may accept for filing a copy of any incomplete inspection or evaluation report but shall also return any such report to the inspecting engineer for completion at a time established by the commissioner but in no case shall such time exceed sixty days.
(b)Within sixty days of the effective date of this section, every public entity shall file with the commissioner, for the purposes of establishing and maintaining the bridge data base as set forth in § 231 (Program of comprehensive bridge management and inspection)section two hundred thirty-one of this article, the most recent inspection report for bridges conducted prior to such effective date.
6.Maintenance guidelines. The commissioner shall establish by rule and regulation criteria for the furnishing of written maintenance guidelines to the owner of a bridge by the design engineer responsible for either the construction or substantial structural alteration, repairs, or rehabilitation of a bridge upon completion of such construction or rehabilitation. This provision shall apply to every bridge construction alteration, repair, or rehabilitation contracted for on or after the first day of January, nineteen hundred ninety.
Section 232 — Uniform code of bridge inspection,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/HAY/232 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).