The bridge maintenance section has overall responsibility for in excess of 1500 bridges and structures that are owned by Worcestershire County Council. However not all bridges in Worcestershire are owned and maintained by the council.
Bridges on motorways and trunk roads, for example, are maintained by the Highways Agency. Many railway bridges are owned and maintained by Network Rail and some bridges over canals are owned and maintained by British Waterways.
Key elements of bridge management are:
Abnormal load management: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abnormal load fax number: 01905 361 362
We make regular general inspections of all structures every two years. Some other bridges, such as cast iron or weight-restricted bridges, are inspected more often.
We also make a 'principal inspection' every 6 to 12 years, depending upon the type of structure. This involves close inspection of all parts of a structure, and often means using specialist equipment and closing lanes of the road over or under the structure.
There is a rich heritage of old bridges in Worcestershire, and these bridges need to be maintained carefully. Any work to historic bridges must meet the strict requirements of English Heritage or the Local Planning Authority (usually a district council). Generally the work aims to make them safe and fit for purpose, without significantly changing their appearance.