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RHD Operational Procedure Ė Bridge Management Wing
Planning and Data - Bridge Inspection & Planning Division
OP/PD/2.2 - Principal Bridge Inspection
Purpose and Scope :

An essential purpose of the Bridge Management Wing is to improve the standard of bridges and culverts on the RHD road Network. Over and above routine inspections by zonal field teams it is prudent for detail inspections by a structural engineer to ensure the structure is performing as designed and individual essential component are properly functioning and that any latent defect is identified. The scope of this procedure is all structures on the RHD network.
Definitions :

Structural Engineer - For the purpose of this procedure means a bridge engineer who has had experience in identifying bridge maintenance, strengthening and repair and can be considered an expert in the this field. The Structural Engineer may be RHD staff or a Consultant.

Principal Bridge Inspection - A full detail inspection of a structure, viewing each key structural components, bearings, hinges, joints etc. from no more than 1 metre.

BCS1, BCS2 and BCS3 - Bridge Condition Survey Form 1, 2 and 3 which gives details of the structure and its condition. These are used as input to the Bridge Maintenance Management System, the RHD Bridge maintenance database (see OP/PD/2.1).
Responsibility :

Superintending Engineer - Planning & Data Circle - Reviews the Principal Bridge Inspection Report and decides on any necessary course of action.

Executive Engineer - Bridge Inspection & Planning Division - Carries out or arranges to be carried out a Principal Bridge Inspection including any specialist surveys necessary to complete the inspection. Once satisfied with the reportís the findings he submits to the Superintending Engineer.

Field Team - To provide any necessary support to the Inspection including means of access, safety equipment and flagmen and make any necessary arrangements with any other authority e.g. Railway and Utility Authorities/Companies to ensure a smooth unhindered inspection.
Method :


This is a detail inspection of a structure to establish itís structural state, latent defects, the integrity of bank protection as it affects the bridge structure. The inspection is carried out at no more than 1 metre from each component part of the structure including bearings, hinges joints and any other mechanical joint. Crack, spalling, rusting, excessive deflections or deformation, scour and any other abnormality are described including the severity of the condition and the reason for the defect. The Inspection Report should include a prioritised recommended action to overcome the defect and recommend any additional inspection/monitoring regime until the defect is full repaired and otherwise dealt with.

It may be necessary on some structures specialist surveys, such as under water diving surveys, these should be included in the inspection.

The Executive Engineer shall ensure that details of the PBI are included on the Bridge Maintenance System.


Principal Bridge Inspections shall be carried on all bridges of total span of 100m at least a 6-year cycle. Inspections shall be carried out on other structures on a random basis or where specific potential & problems are identified either during surveys or from any other source that the SE Bridge Planning Data Circle agrees is worthy of further investigation.
References :

Procedure Flowchart :





For duties associated with each grade of personnel see


Updated on : 1/12/2003