News Stories

New England District’s Bridge Safety Program Monitors Nation’s Vital Infrastructure

USACE, New England District
Published April 3, 2017
Bourne Bridge inspection work.

Bourne Bridge inspection work.

The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge is operated and maintained by the New England District.

The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge is operated and maintained by the New England District.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District’s Bridge Safety Program is a vital public service that ensures the health of bridges throughout the six-state region.

The New England District has authority over 80 bridges within its inventory; 45 are open to public vehicle traffic, the most of any Corps District. John Kedzierski, District Bridge Safety Program Manager, leads a team that conforms with federal guidance, procedures, and standards; coordinates with Operations Branch to prioritize and fund any needed repairs and inspections; and maintains the District’s Bridge Inventory System database.

“[W]e must ensure the safety and structural integrity of all the bridges within our inventory, and that all comply with current public law regarding bridge safety,” Kedzierski said.

The United States has over 600,000 bridges, of which the Army Corps is accountable for 921. The Corps is responsible for ensuring those bridges are consistently inspected and kept in a state of good repair.

Every state and agency responsible for bridge safety adheres to the same national standards as defined by statute. The Federal Highway Act of 1968 initiated a national bridge inspection program that recognized the need for periodic and consistent bridge assessments. The first National Bridge Inspection Standards were developed in 1971, mandating public bridge owners to develop a program maintaining and monitoring their bridges.

In New England, the Bridge Safety Program is currently collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service on a demonstration project to paint the North Springfield Spillway Bridge in Vermont using a new paint and sealant system. The project is expected to prolong the service life of the overall paint system and maintain the bridge’s structural integrity. If successful, the sealant and paint technology will be shared with other federal agencies.

“This project will demonstrate the overall effectiveness of this type of paint system. The data and information can then be shared with other federal agencies so they can also maintain their bridges in a cost-effective manner,” said Kedzierski.

Working with Corps of Engineers national headquarters, Kedzierski recently secured funding from the Federal Highway Administration to make needed repairs at the Bourne and Sagamore Highway Bridges at the Cape Cod Canal in Massachusetts, and to the Choate Brook Bridge at the Everett Dam in New Hampshire. This is the third time within the last four years that the District has secured funding from the Federal Highway Administration for various aspects of the New England Bridge Safety Program.

The Pawcatuck River Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study

   This proposed plan is presented  to facilitate public involvement in the review and commenting on the remedy selection process for the Nantucket Memorial Airport (NMA) Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS.) 
    The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a No Action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for the Munitions Response Site-1, Project Number D01MA049901 at NMA located on Nantucket Island, MA.  The proposal was prepared using the Guide to Preparing Superfund Proposed Plans, Records of Decision, and Other Remedy Selection Decision Documents (USEPA, 1999).
    The final decision for NMA Site-1 site will be made after reviewing and considering all information submitted during the public comment period. The proposed decision may be modified based on new information or public comments. The public is encouraged to review and comment on the proposed plan.
    The FUDS program addresses the potential explosives safety, health, and environmental issues resulting from past munitions use at former defense sites under the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Munitions Response Program, established by the U.S. Congress under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program.  
    FUDS only applies to properties that transferred from DoD before October 17, 1986 and the first priority of USACE is the protection of human health, safety, and the environment. 
    The Army is the executive agent for the FUDS Program, and USACE is the lead agency for investigation/reporting and remedial decision-making at this munitions site with regulatory support provided by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Updated: 05 December 2016