To improve the structural safety of the nation's highway bridges, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this week released a proposal notice for updates to the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS). The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages relevant stakeholders and industry experts tosubmit comments to FHWA by January 13, 2020.
As the FHWA explains, the proposal applies to all structures defined as "highway bridges on all public roads, on and off federal-aid highways, including tribally and federally owned bridges." The FHWA also proposes to apply these standards to privately owned bridges that are "connected to a public road on each end."
The proposal specifies revisions to qualifications of personnel and organization responsibilities for bridge inspection, among other changes. The FHWA proposes to update the NBIS to address requirements for The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). President Obama signed the Act into law in 2012, authorizing funding for surface transportation programs throughout the nation.
The FHWA has released a guidance document that details more information related to rulemaking and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design specifications.
For more information, read the Federal Register notice, or read the FHWA proposal document.
How Does ANSI Support Stronger and SaferInfrastructure?
ANSI has supported safer infrastructure through several industry-related activities and initiatives. In 2018 and 2019, two Capitol Hill events focused on the use of standards and codes in achieving strong, practicable, and innovative infrastructure solutions. Presentations by ANSI member organizations producing code and standards pointed to the importance of inspection as a component of good infrastructure management.
ANSI has also led a number of collaboratives related to infrastructure, including homeland security and resilience, energy efficiency and smart cities, and two recent initiatives, the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) and ANSI's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC).
See the related article: ANAB Recognized by Federal Highway Administration for Construction Materials Testing.