Bridges in Virginia

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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 21,000 bridges and structures. This includes 13,400-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.

As of March, 2016:

  • Virginia has 21,104 bridges and large culverts in our inventory
  • 1,209 are listed as structurally deficient
  • 3,429 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.

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Page last modified: Jan. 26, 2018