This Bridge Inspection Manual was prepared by the American Society of Bridge Inspectors to assist the inspectors that inspect public and private bridges in Iowa. This manual is designed to make sure documented best practices for bridge inspection are documented, and that uniformity is maintained throughout the state for all bridges. The Bridge Inspection Manual also serves as a referral source for those that need information from the Bridge Inspection Manual.
A Bridge Inspection Manual is a written document that helps to define the responsibilities of a licensed Bridge Inspection Specialist (BI) and what to expect during the inspection process. The inspection manual will help the inspector to know what to look for during the actual inspection and how to document the condition of a given structure. This will help the inspector to know what to do before and during the inspection process. In addition, it will help the business, owner, or business contractor that requires the services of a BIS to know what to anticipate from the BIS during the inspection.
What should be included in an inspection manual? The inspection manual should cover the inspection process itself. This means that it should include the types of tests and examinations that are required for the examination of a bridge. It should also cover the procedure for selecting an appropriate testing laboratory, the documentation needed when testing the structure, and the rules that the BIS must follow in order to test the bridge.
What types of documents should be presented during the inspection process? The inspection manual should include an overall examination of the bridge. The examination should describe the conditions of the structure, including any conditions that could create a hazard or increase the likelihood of a collapse. It should also explain why the bridge is in need of an inspection, what results will be from the inspection, and what corrective action will be taken to correct problems. For instance, if the bridge is leaning to one side, the inspection manual should have steps that the inspector will take to correct this condition. Likewise, if the deck is leaning to the other side, the manual should include measures that the inspector will take to remedy this bridge inspection.
What types of procedures should be included in the bridge inspection manual? The inspection manual should detail the contents of the pre-test and post-test phases of the inspection process. Each of these steps is important because they demonstrate how the bridge was constructed, where it is located, and whether it meets the current requirements for safety. For instance, it is important to show that the foundation is in proper condition because this component is at risk for failing during a load condition if it is not properly secured.
What conditions should be addressed during each examination? During the examination, the inspector is looking for evidence of deterioration that can affect the ability of the bridge to safely support a load. For this reason, the manual should include a list of the various loads that could be placed on the bridge. It is important to identify those conditions that typically pose the greatest threat to the integrity of the bridge.
What conditions should be addressed when examining the components of the bridge? Most inspectors recommend that the inspector examine both the deck and the structure attached to the pier. This list of components is used to assist in determining which condition requires the most attention in order to make the bridge safe for use. The bridge is often attached to the pier through tie-downs, clips, or straps. Most inspectors consider the bridge and any attachments to the pier to be important safety factors that must be addressed during the inspection. The bridge and attachments are also used to inspect the integrity of the pier.
What should not be included in the inspection manual? Again, this document should outline what should be done during the pre-test and post-test phases. It does not need to contain detailed information about the equipment that will be utilized during the bridge inspection. It is also not necessary to list all of the conditions that need to be addressed during the inspection. If you want to learn more about a specific condition, or if you need additional information about a condition that has been noted on the inspected piece of equipment, you may discuss these matters with your inspector prior to having the Bridge Inspection Manual produced.