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Letter to Chairmen Murray and Olver and Ranking Members Bond and Latham Regarding FHWA's Actions in Response to OIG's January 2009 Bridge Report

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On October 18, 2010, we responded to provisions in the Senate Appropriations Committee Report accompanying the fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.  Specifically, we updated congressional members on actions the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has taken to date in response to findings and recommendations in our January 2009 report on the National Bridge Inspection Program.  We reported that FHWA had made limited progress in implementing data-driven, risk-based bridge oversight and that it could strengthen its role in expanding states’ use of bridge management systems.  

FHWA agreed to take corrective actions in response to our five recommendations.  We commend FHWA for the action it took in resolving data errors in National Bridge Inventory data files.  However, FHWA must follow through on its plan to work with states in mitigating higher priority nationwide bridge safety risks; implement its uniform definition of NBIS compliance and data-driven, risk-based metrics; work with AASHTO to update standards for element-level data; and provide support to states most in need of assistance with bridge management systems.  Accordingly, we will continue to monitor FHWA's actions until it demonstrates that it has fully implemented all our recommendations.