The International Road Federation IRF), a Geneva based global body working for safer and better roads world-wide expressed concern at the collapse of a bridge on the Savitri River on Mumbai-Goa Highway leading to loss of lives. The IRF has stressed on the need of carrying out Inventory and Conditions survey on all bridges and major culverts on core road networks, presently being maintained by the State Government agencies including Public Works Department and civic agencies, to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have already appointed consultants to carry out Inventory and Conditions Survey on bridges, major culverts and structures (updating the current Bridge Management Survey (BMS) on existing highways and roads. The state governments should also follow requisite safety norms for vehicular bridges and public life ” said Mr K. K. Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF). .
“It is a Worldwide practice to carry out the Inventory and Conditions survey regularly, with focus on the structural safety of bridge structures catering to vehicular traffic to ensure that these bridges are structurally sound for vehicular traffic. As per norms, a newly constructed or renovated bridge should be inspected within 90 days of a bridge being open to traffic and after every 24 months, throughout the life of the structure. The results of these mandated inspections provide information on the structural safety of the bridges and assigns each bridge a specific sufficiency rating that speaks of the overall condition of each bridge.” said Mr Kapila.
“Similar Inventory and Condition process should also be carried out for pedestrian bridges, as the foundations of a good bridge maintenance programme is based on the availability of quality data on the bridge structures owned by a National, State or City agency, including complete and accurate information on the bridge structures and their individual elements. These structures need to be periodically inspected with 'Sufficiency' rating as per the requirement of Bridge Inventory Standards.” Added Mr Kapila
The sufficiency rating is a numerical rating between 0 and 100 given to each highway bridge. The value is based on the bridge’s structural adequacy and safety, essentially for public use, and its serviceability and functional obsolescence.