Friday, July 24, 2015

FHWA Launches New Tunnel Inspection Program

Just like bridges, no two tunnels are exactly the same. In an effort to standardize inspections across those environments, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is implementing a program that creates tunnel inspection standards to match those of bridge inspections.

The tunnel inspection program is modeled after FHWA's national bridge inspection program. The agency will also compile an inventory of the nation’s tunnels and develop a database much like the national bridge inventory.

FHWA has provided tunnel inspection guidance before, but the agency had no means to require tunnel owners—such as state transportation departments or other agencies—to inspect tunnels. Inspection methods have also varied widely. New standards will include revamped inspection requirements, as well as annual reports of tunnel conditions and inspection findings.