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In 2012 we reported the results of our audit of the Department of Transportation’s systems to manage the structural safety of bridges. We concluded that the department generally had well-designed systems but identified several significant findings resulting in nine recommendations to improve processes related to:

  • inspection contracting, quality and frequency
  • contractor certification
  • bridge information system access
  • maintenance activity reporting
  • capital planning submissions

We have followed up on the department’s progress in implementing the recommendations and have concluded the department has implemented seven of the recommendations.


The department has made significant improvement to processes to inspect and monitor the structural safety of Alberta’s bridges. We did not find evidence of unsafe bridges when completing our follow-up audit procedures. Processes to contract inspections to independent third parties still require improvement. The department’s decisions on selecting contractors lack clarity, and it should complete an analysis on the cost effectiveness of contracting out these services.

We repeat two recommendations related to the department’s process to contract external parties to monitor the safety of bridges. The department has not fully implemented recommendations to:

  • improve contracting processes for visual inspections
  • regularly assess if contracting out the inspections is cost effective