U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Washington Division

Home / About / Field Offices / Washington Division

Bridge Program

National Bridge Inspection Program

FHWA requires inspections of all bridges carrying traffic on public roads to insure their safety and reliability. This program was initially mandated in the Federal-aid Highway Act of 1968, which led to the National Bridge Inspection Standards established in the Federal Register in 1971.

The NBIS (23 CFR 650, Subpart C) require States to:

Washington State Bridges

In Washington State there are 7,902 bridges carrying public roads that are subject to the Federal inspection requirements. 3,290 of those structures are State owned, with 4,024 bridges owned by local agencies, and 588 owned by other agencies (Federal, Tribal, Parks, etc.).

Other key statistics:

pie chart graph of bridge condition for year 2013/ Seventy five percent were not deficient. Twenty percent was functionally obsolete and five percent was structurally deficient.


Bar graph of bridges built by decade from 1900 to 2010.  The lowest number of bridges built were in 1910 (approximately 50) The highest number of bridges were built in the 1970's (approximately 1700)


bar graph of bridges by material type. The highest number of bridges were built with prestressed concrete. Two thousand three hundred and thirty seven bridges were built with this material.
Page last modified on May 7, 2014.