Objective and Scope
The Department of Transportation is responsible for building and maintaining bridges on the Province’s highways. There are currently 4,400 bridge structures, comprised of 1,600 bridges and 2,800 bridge-sized culverts. The Department estimates the replacement value of these bridge structures to be $6.7 billion.
Our objective was to assess if the Department of Transportation has effective systems to manage the structural safety of bridges. To do that, we examined if the Department has adequate processes to:
- assess the condition and safety of bridges and identify work that should be done
- maintain the bridges to keep them safe and protect Albertans’ investment
- determine future needs for bridge rehabilitation and replacement
We concluded that the Department generally has well-designed systems to manage the structural safety of bridges. However, we had several significant findings where those systems were not operating as they should. We also found that the Department did not adequately track or report the actions taken in response to bridge inspections.
Consequently, the risk of the Department not maintaining bridges to ensure structural safety and not protecting Albertans investment is unnecessarily high. We did not find evidence of unsafe bridges.