South Lanarkshire Council Difficult Access Bridge Inspections

South Lanarkshire Council Difficult Access Bridge Inspections


It is estimated that there are approximately 160,000 bridges in the UK, 90,000 of which are owned and maintained by Central or Local Government and the remainder belonging to Network Rail, the Canal and River Trust (formerly British Waterways) and Sustrans.

To assess the condition of a bridge, Principal Inspections are undertaken every 6 years and a review of the original assessment is undertaken at the same time to ensure that there has been no further deterioration of the structure, change in operational load carrying requirements or indeed change to assessment standards that may affect its load capacity. If any of this criteria has changed then the structure is re-assessed.

South Lanarkshire Council, like many local authorities in central Scotland have a significant number of difficult access bridges which require Principal Inspections.


SYSTRA have undertaken in excess of 100 Principal Inspections for South Lanarkshire Council in the last 4 years. The Principal Inspections are carried out in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, the Code of Practice for Maintenance of Highway Structures and the recommendations of the CSS report “Bridge Condition Indicators”.

Structural forms included multi-span masonry arches, steel beam and slab, reinforced concrete beam/slab decks, plate girder with masonry jack arches and steel girder with transverse steel trough deck.

SYSTRA also undertook assessment reviews for the bridges in accordance with BD 101/11 Structural Review and Assessment of Highway Structures. This involves a review of an individual structure or group of structures, within the highway structures stock, to establish or confirm the validity of the latest Assessment (or original design, if there has been no subsequent Assessment) and identify any need for further assessment.

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