Last updated:
26 October 2017

Bridges and subways

How we inspect and maintain bridges and subways, and how to report damage.

The County Council is the highway authority and the bridge authority for its own bridges.

Along with highway bridges, we own 32 subways and around 147 footway bridges. Ten of these bridges are designated as ancient monuments and ten are listed buildings.

Bridge maintenance and inspection

Maintenance

Maintenance is broken into two categories:

  • Routine maintenance - Basic vegetation clearance is carried out one month before the inspection of the structure so a detailed inspection can be completed by our engineer.
  • General maintenance - Maintenance needs are identified as part of the detailed inspection to ensure the structure remains safe for use and fit for purpose.

Inspection

  • We inspect our bridges approximately every two years.
  • We investigate damage through vehicle collision, storms or other causes as soon as possible.
  • All bridges are assessed to see if they can safely cope with the maximum permitted weight of lorries at 44 tonnes. 
  • Public safety is maintained on weak bridges through temporary weight restrictions or other measures.
  • We prioritise principal road bridges when we carry out bridge strengthening work.
  • We may decide to permanently restrict the weight limit on substandard bridges on non-principal roads rather than strengthen them.
  • We consider each bridge on its merits before deciding what we will do, taking into account safety, economic and environmental factors.

Subways

Maintenance is broken into three categories:

  • Routine maintenance - Basic vegetation clearance is carried out one month before the inspection of the structure so a detailed inspection can be completed by our engineer.
  • General maintenance - Maintenance needs are identified as part of the detailed inspection to ensure the structure remains safe for use and fit for purpose.
  • Drainage maintenance - A programme of visits to each subway is carried out throughout the year to undertake drainage clearance, pump checks and electrical safety checks. These are typically done every three months on subways that have a pumped drainage system to ensure the system remains working when it rains. All subways that rely on a pumped drainage system are being fitted with an electronic notification system to provide an early warning to the County Council when there are issues, such as a pump failing. This enables us to repair the issue before it becomes a problem.

Boxal Bridge

In response to the keen community interest in the proposals for Boxal Bridge, a set of frequently asked questions is available below.

Report damage to a bridge or subway

 

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