As the Highway Authority, we are responsible for the bridges that are owned by the council. Other authorities such as Network Rail (railways) and the Highway Agency (trunk roads) own the rest.
As a rule, the bridge belongs to the organisation that required the bridge in the first place. Ownership may be transferred such as when the responsibility for a route changes.
Our inspection programme covers all bridges. Priority is given to those on main routes. From this, a programme of maintenance work can be drawn up.
Inspection of bridges; due to vehicle collision, storm damage or other such causes, are investigated as soon as is possible. In the case of collisions, we can claim back the cost of structural repairs if we are able to obtain vehicle details.
Our bridges are managed in accordance with the nationwide standards and inspections are undertaken every 2 years, while principal inspections are carried out on larger structures or those with historical significance every 6 years.
The inspection process examines the condition of the bridge, which assists in prioritising repairs to be carried out as part of our comprehensive maintenance programme.
Special inspections are done as and when required, such as:
- a vehicle collision
- sea/river erosion
- whenever there is a problem that may compromise safety.