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362 FW 1
Overview of the Vehicular Bridge Safety Program

Supersedes 362 FW 1, FWM 375, 09/21/01

Date:  July 5, 2012

Series: Engineering and Construction

Part 362: Bridge Safety

Originating Office: Division of Engineering

 

 

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1.1 What is the purpose of Part 362, Bridge Safety? This Part provides policy and guidelines to ensure the safety of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) vehicular bridges.

 

A. This chapter provides an overview of the Service vehicular bridge safety program.

 

B. 362 FW 2 establishes vehicular bridge design and maintenance guidelines.

 

C. 362 FW 3 addresses the vehicular bridge inspection program.

 

1.2 What is the objective of the vehicular bridge safety program? Our objective is to ensure the safety and integrity of our vehicular bridges through design guidelines and an inspection and inventory program.

 

1.3 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

 

A. Bridge:

 

(1) A structure and its supports spanning more than 10 feet over a depression or an obstruction, such as a river, stream, spillway, or canal, and having a passageway for carrying moving loads; or

 

(2) A culvert or a series of pipes over an obstruction, when the culvert or series of pipes meets certain size and spacing criteria (see Exhibit 1, 362 FW 3).

 

B. Bridge Maintenance: Anything that is done to prevent, delay, or reduce deterioration of bridges or bridge elements, restore the function of existing bridges, keep bridges in good condition, and extend their life.

 

C. Bridge Repair: Actions taken to correct a deficiency in a structural bridge element.

 

D. Urgent Item: Recommendation for bridge repair or maintenance to address a deficiency that poses a current threat to the strength or stability of the bridge or that involves a significant safety concern.

 

E. Vehicular Bridge: A structure that a vehicle can traverse that is at least as large as an automobile, even if that is not the structure’s main purpose. A structure is a vehicular bridge when it meets the following conditions:

 

(1) It meets the definition of a bridge in section 1.3A,

 

(2) It is feasible for a vehicle to get to it,

 

(3) There is nothing immovable or insurmountable preventing a vehicle from accessing it, and

 

(4) There is nothing that restricts a vehicle that is at least as large as an automobile from crossing over it.


 

1.4 Who is responsible for administering the vehicular bridge safety program? See Table 1-1.

 

Table 1-1: Responsibilities for the Vehicular Bridge Safety Program

These officials…

Are responsible for…

A. The Director

 

(1) Ensuring that we have an effective vehicular bridge safety program in place, and

 

(2) Approving or declining to approve Servicewide policy.

B. The Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations

(1) Ensuring there is a bridge safety policy in place, and

 

(2) Overseeing the program.

C. The Chief, Division of Engineering (DEN)

 

(1) Implementing and administering the vehicular bridge safety program through the development of policy and guidelines,

 

(2) Appointing a Service Bridge Inspection Program Manager from within DEN, and

 

(3) Providing engineering and construction approvals as described in 360 FW 1, Engineering and Construction – Policy, Objectives, and Responsibilities.

D. The Service Bridge Inspection Program Manager

 

(1) Developing program policy and guidelines,

 

(2) Administering the bridge inspection program, and

 

(3) Maintaining the Service's bridge inventory database.

E. Regional Directors

 

(1) Administering the Regional bridge program, which provides for the safe use, proper maintenance, and timely repair and replacement of all vehicular bridges within the Region;

 

(2) Setting priorities for vehicular bridge repair and replacement within the Region; and

 

(3) Preparing budget requests for vehicular bridge repair and replacement within the Region.

F. Regional Engineers

(1) Appointing a Regional Bridge Coordinator to administer the bridge safety program for the Region;

 

(2) Providing technical review, comments, and recommendations, as appropriate, related to Regional vehicular bridge program needs;

 

(3) Providing design and construction services for the Regional vehicular bridge safety program; and

 

(4) Providing engineering and construction approvals as described in 360 FW 1 and 362 FW 2.

G. Regional Bridge Coordinators

 

(1) Coordinating the vehicular bridge safety program within the Region,

 

(2) Assisting the Service Bridge Inspection Program Manager with coordination of inspections in the Region, and

 

(3) Providing technical review, comments, and recommendations within the Region and to the Service Bridge Inspection Program Manager regarding bridge inspection reports.

H. Regional Safety Managers

 

(1) Reviewing safety aspects of bridge design and construction,

 

(2) Coordinating risk assessments with Regional Facility Management Coordinators, and

 

(3) Providing approvals described in 362 FW 2.

I. Project Leaders or Facility Managers

 

(1) Notifying the Regional Engineer when acquired land includes bridges;

 

(2) Acquiring, installing, and maintaining signs and other bridge-related items that are intended to ensure the safe use of the vehicular bridges located on the facility;

 

(3) Performing routine maintenance of and addressing identified urgent items for vehicular bridges located on their facilities;

 

(4) Initiating vehicular bridge repair and replacement projects following the guidelines in 360 FW 1; and

 

(5) Identifying operational requirements for vehicular bridge repair and replacement projects.

 

1.5 How many vehicular bridges does the Service own? We own more than 700 vehicular bridges.

 

1.6 How are bridge maintenance, repair, and replacement needs funded? Bridge maintenance, repair, and replacement needs are funded through the National Wildlife Refuge System and National Fish Hatchery maintenance accounts, the Construction Appropriation, or other programs, as appropriate, in accordance with Service budget procedures.

 


For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Division of Engineering. For more information about this Web site, contact Krista_Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  



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