Under National Bridge Inspection Standards, only bridges with spans greater than 20 feet are required to be inspected every two years. When South Middleton Township suspected an issue with a weight-restricted bridge spanning under 20 feet, they had no recent inspection on which to rely. RETTEW completed a bridge inspection for the Township and revealed structural deficiencies requiring a bridge replacement on Petersburg Road. The Township increased weight-limit restrictions, allowing the road to stay open while the replacement bridge was designed, permitted, and bid for construction.
With no information on the condition of other local bridges, the Township requested RETTEW to create a bridge inspection program for their other 18 bridges under 20 feet (3 per year for six years) to ensure safety for their residents. The first three bridges inspected were older and structurally deficient. Immediate corrective actions were suggested — detours, lane restrictions, weight-limit restrictions — while we proceeded with designing and permitting the replacements. The process involved special planning with the Township, as there are trout streams and a bald eagle habitat in the area. By developing and implementing this Municipal Bridge Inspection Program, RETTEW is helping South Middleton Township maintain safe roadways for its residents.