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Management and Oversight of Structural Defects on Highway Bridges at the New York State Department of Transportation
Thomas P. DiNapoli (ed)
Hardcover (no d.j.)
The N.Y. State Dept. of Transportation (Dept.) is responsible for monitoring the condition of highway bridges in N.Y. State. It has developed inspection requirements for the bridges and a process for ensuring that critical inspection findings are addressed in a timely manner. It is also responsible for the inspections of all State and locally-owned bridges. If a serious (“red flag”) structural defect is identified during an inspection, the bridge owner (usually a municipality or State agency) must be notified within seven work days. The owner then has six weeks in which to take appropriate action (i.e., close the bridge, repair the defect, or take alternative action to ensure that the bridge is safe to use). Any repairs and most alternative actions must be approved by a licensed professional engineer. This Audit Report determined that between Jan. 1, 2006 and June 24, 2008, a total of 1,280 red flag defects were identified on 228 State and 495 locally-owned highway bridges. To determine whether these defects were addressed within the required time frame of about seven weeks, the report reviewed the records relating to a sample of 204 of the defects which pertain to 44 State and 74 locally owned bridges. It found that 69 of the 204 defects (33.8%) pertaining to 25 State and 16 locally owned bridges were not addressed within the required time frame. In fact, it took, on average, more than 17 weeks to address these 69 defects (i.e., more than 17 weeks to either close the bridge, repair the defect, or take alternative action to ensure that the bridge was safe to use). This report contains 11 recommendations for strengthening the Dept.’s oversight of the actions taken in addressing red flag structural defects on State and locally-owned highway bridges. Tables.
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