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Designing Bridges for Inspectability

Bridge inspection is essential for public safety and effective bridge management. Bridge inspection and bridge inspectors are the first line of defense against bridge failures. Most highway bridges in the United States and the rest of the world are predominantly inspected using visual methods by bridge inspectors manually assessing the condition of various elements. Thus, whenever possible, it is the responsibility of bridge designers to make sure that bridge details are designed such a way that the inspection of all the bridge components is visually possible. This paper highlights some of these issues and recommendations for designers based on the input from bridge inspectors working for the New York State Department of Transportation.

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