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Bridge Safety

  • Alberta Transportation is responsible for building and maintaining bridges on the province's highways. There are currently 4,400 bridges (1,600 bridges and 2,800 bridge size culverts) with an estimated replacement value of $6.7 billion.

  • When it comes to building or maintaining roads and bridges, the safety of motorists always comes first. To this end as we focus on excellence, Alberta Transportation has a rigorous maintenance program. Not only does the department conduct formal bridge inspections but our engineers also do frequent, informal site visits.

  • The main tool to achieve this is called the Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System. In the Bridge Inspection and Maintenance manual, the system is defined as a comprehensive inventory manegement system for use in "inspection management maintenance programming, budget development, strategic planning, and life cycle planning so that the safety of the travelling public and the investment in bridge structures is optimized".

Alberta promotes excellence in bridge safety - November 1, 2012

 

In support of the Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System

“The Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System is the foundation of a provincial management process for bridges that ensures public safety and helps to provide Albertans and industry with a provincial transportation network that is as seamless as possible for users.”

Stewart Hagan, P. Eng.
Bridge Engineer
MPA Engineering Ltd.

“The Bridge Inspection program provided and maintained by the province is an excellent tool used in monitoring our bridge system and the training we receive from the bridge engineering staff in using the tool, both in the field and office has been invaluable. The knowledge provided and experience gained from the partnership has allowed us to undertake both bridge construction and repairs in a more informed and cost effective manner to the benefit of our residents and all those that use our local road network.”

W.A.( Bill) Rogan
County Administrator
County of Grande Prairie

“The City of Edmonton follows the Province of Alberta's bridge inspection protocols and the City have set their own standards for inspection cycles to meet their needs”

Shiraz Kanji
Bridge Engineer
City of Edmonton

Auditor General’s Bridge Audit

Alberta Transportation welcomes the recommendations regarding safety and has already implemented process improvements in line with the Auditor General's recommendations.

The Auditor General audited the Department's system to manage the structural safety of bridges. The Auditor General explored how Alberta Transportation applies some of its procedures but did not find evidence of unsafe bridges. The audit was publicly released on November 1, 2012.

  • Auditor General of Alberta Fall Report

    The Auditor General report concluded that "the Department generally has well-designed systems to manage the structural safety of bridges". The report identified some administrative practices that need to be improved on, or strengthened, and Alberta Transportation is implementing those suggestions.

     

    Recent Bridge Inspection and Maintenance Process Documents

    Several documents have been created to improve our ability to manage the system. These documents clarify roles and processes in the delivery of the Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System.

    The various system management tasks undertaken by the Department are described in this document:

  • Bridge Inspection and Maintenance - Roles and Responsibilities

    Technical issues related to the system are reviewed by the Bridge Inspection and Maintenance Committee. The charter for this committee is as follows:

  • Bridge Inspection and Maintenance - Committee Charter

    Successful operation of this Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System requires trainined and competent inspectors. The certification of inspectors is described in the following document:

  • Bridge Inspection and Maintenance - Certification Process

    The Department also has a quality assurance process to monitor the performance of inspectors. The process is described in the following document:

  • Bridge Inspection and Maintenance - Quality Assurance Process

     

    Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System

    A key component in ensuring the safety of bridges is the Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System. The system is detailed in the following document:

  • Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System - Inspection Manual - (Version 3.1 - March 2008 - pdf)
  • Bridge Inspection and Maintenance System - Reference Manual - (Version 3.0 - June 2007)

    Based on the results of bridge inspectors, the Department may decide to undertake maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement projects. Information on how inspections fit into the overall management of bridges can be found at the following link:

  • Bridge Management

    Here is a list of recent bridge repair or replacement projects that have been done in the province.

  • Recent Bridge Repair and Replacement Projects