Bridges in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has an aggressive bridge inspection and safety program which goes beyond federal requirements.
Virginia bridges are inspected in accordance with National Bridge Inspection Standards by qualified inspectors.
We continue to inspect and track more than 20,800 bridges and structures. This includes 13,200-plus National Bridge Inventory (NBI) structures and 7,600-plus non-NBI structures in Virginia.
The agency inspects all of its bridges at least once every two years unless there are issues due to age, deterioration, bridge damage or other concerns.
In these cases, we conduct more frequent inspections.
VDOT conducts between 11,000 and 12,000 bridge inspections each year.
When we find that a bridge has safety issues or structural concerns, action is immediately taken to post weight limits, detour traffic and repair these structures.
The agency has more than 100 staff dedicated to bridge inspection and consultants brought in to augment the bridge inspection program. Twelve percent of the agency's inspection work is done by consultants.
Of Virginia's 20,872 bridges, as of October 15, 2010:
- 1,764 are listed as structurally deficient
- 3,226 are listed as functionally obsolete
The FHWA says the term "structurally deficient" means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and maintained. According to the FHWA Web site, the fact that a bridge is "deficient" does not imply that it is likely to collapse or that it is unsafe.
For More Information
Inspectors check under bridge
using "snooper" truck.
- (WMV, 6.23 MB, 1:52), transcript (PDF, 99 KB)
Videos requires the free Windows Media Player. Download it here.
Links from FHWA
- FHWA home page
- Minnesota bridge facts from FHWA
- Bridge technology
- Bridge inspection questions and answers
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
- National Transportation Safety Board
- VDOT's Structure and Bridge Division