The audit will examine FHWA

Audit of FHWA Bridge Safety Oversight Under Way

The DOT inspector general's office announced it Nov. 5 in response to a request from the top Democrat on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general’s office has begun an audit of the Federal Highway Administration's oversight of states' bridge programs. FHWA established the National Bridge Inspection Standards for proper safety inspections of the more than 600,000 public highway bridges, and it oversees states' efforts to ensure their bridges are safe.

Three inspector general reports since 2006 have recommended improvements to the FHWA oversight.

The audit, announced by the office Nov. 5, is being made in response to a request from U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., the ranking member on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

FHWA in 2011 announced a new bridge safety initiative designed to more consistently monitor how states are performing bridge inspections and to target problem areas in certain states. This audit's objectives are to assess whether FHWA Division Offices are effectively overseeing states’ bridge inspection programs and whether FHWA headquarters is identifying and addressing high-priority risks to bridge safety at the national level.

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