Bridge Management

Routine bridge management is vital to maintaining bridge infrastructure in Lincoln and provides safe, sturdy, and long-lasting connections to different parts of the city.

As Lincoln continues to grow in population, the corporate city limits are also extended as new development and annexation occurs. This contributes to the number of bridge structures which fall under the responsibility of the City of Lincoln.

As of October 2021, Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) monitors and inspects 148 bridge structures. This number consists of 60 bridges and 88 box culverts and/or culvert pipes which carry vehicular traffic on our public roadways. Pedestrian bridges, such as the Haymarket Park Pedestrian Bridge, or the Rock Island Trail bridges at 27th Street & Nebraska Parkway, are inspected and maintained using the same standards as roadway bridges but are not classified the same and are not included in the overall list of structures.

In a typical year, the LTU Bridge Inspection team will inspect an average of 75 bridge structures. Every bridge is inspected with a frequency no greater than 24 months. Certain structures may be inspected with a greater frequency depending on age, condition, or the daily traffic volume that the bridges carry.

Bridge Inspection – July 2021(JPG, 265KB) Bridge Inspection – July 2021

Structures the City of Lincoln is Required to Include

According to the Recording and Coding Guide for the Structure Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation's Bridges the minimum length for a structure carrying traffic loads is 20 feet (6.1 meters). The structure length is measured as shown on Figure P.1.1(GIF, 18KB).

23 CFR Part 650.305 Definitions gives the definition of a bridge as it applies to the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) regulations. From the NBIS regulations, a bridge is defined as follows: a structure including supports erected over a depression or an obstruction, such as water, highway, or railway, and having a track or passageway for carrying traffic or other moving loads, and having an opening measured along the center of the roadway of more than 20 feet between under copings of abutments or spring lines of arches, or extreme ends of openings for multiple boxes; it may also include multiple pipes, where the clear distance between openings is less than half of the smaller contiguous opening.

National Bridge Inspection Standards

The NBIS defines the scope of bridge inspections in the United States. The NBIS are Federal regulations establishing requirements for:

  • Inspection Procedures
  • Frequency of Inspections
  • Qualifications of Personnel
  • Inspection Reports
  • Maintenance of Bridge Inventory

The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) is the aggregation of structure inventory and appraisal data collected by each state to fulfill the requirements of the NBIS.

The State of Nebraska is ultimately responsible for the inspection of all public highway bridges within the State, except for those that are federally or tribally owned. The State may delegate bridge inspection policies and procedures, quality assurance and quality control, preparation and maintenance of a bridge inventory, bridge inspections, reports, load ratings and other requirements of these standards to smaller units of the State like a city or county. However, such delegation does not relieve the State transportation department or Federal Agency of any of its responsibilities. Because of the fundamental relationship established in Title 23 of the U.S. Code between the FHWA and a State, if the inspections by a city or county were not done in accordance with the NBIS, the FHWA could withhold Federal-aid highway funds from the State.

The following map and information are the structures delegated by the State of Nebraska to be inspected by the City of Lincoln. You will notice bridges in Lincoln that aren't on the map, which may be due to several reasons. This includes the bridges on Cornhusker Highway, Interstate 180, or those over the Interstate highways: these bridges are located on or over State highways and are the responsibility of the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

There are bridges which are located in close proximity to the city yet are not shown on the map, such as those on Old Cheney Road and Pioneers Boulevard over the Salt Creek: these bridges are still located outside of the corporate city limits and are the responsibility of Lancaster County.

There are also several box culvert structures in the City which are not shown on the map: this is due to these structures being located on a private street, and these structures are the responsibility of the local property owner.

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