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|Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > January/February 2009 > FHWA Seeks Comments on Creation of National Tunnel Inspection Standards|
|Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-09-010
Date: January/February 2009
FHWA Seeks Comments on Creation of National Tunnel Inspection Standards
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is soliciting comments on the creation of a regulation that would establish National Tunnel Inspection Standards (NTIS). FHWA estimates that there are more than 300 highway tunnels in the United States. The NTIS would set minimum tunnel inspection standards that would apply to all Federal-aid highway tunnels on public roads.
According to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published in the November 18, 2008, Federal Register, the NTIS "likely would include requirements for inspection procedures for structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and ventilation systems, and other major elements specific to tunnels such as tunnel finishes; the qualification and training of inspectors; and a National Tunnel Inventory." As noted in the Federal Register announcement, such "timely tunnel inspection is vital to uncovering safety problems and preventing failures."
FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration developed guidelines for the inspection of tunnels in 2003, which were published in the Highway and Rail Transit Tunnel Inspection Manual (Pub. No. FHWA-IF-05-002). These guidelines were updated in 2005. However, inspection frequency and methods are not currently mandated. For a copy of the 2005 manual, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/tunnel/inspectman00.cfm.
Comments on the proposed regulation are due on or before February 17, 2009. All comments should include Docket No. FHWA-2008-0038. Comments can be submitted via mail or fax or electronically.
Docket Management Facility
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590-0001
For more information and a link to the Federal Register notice, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/tunnel/comment.cfm. Information is also available by contacting Jesus Rohena in FHWA's Office of Bridge Technology, 202-366-4593 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration