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The Nation

December 02, 1987

The chief of the National Transportation Safety Board criticized the federal bridge inspection program as inadequate and questioned an Administration proposal to give states more flexibility in inspecting bridges. Safety Board Chairman James Burnett told the House Public Works and Transportation subcommittee on investigations and oversight that reviews by the Federal Highway Administration are "paper audits" and that federal investigators rarely conduct on-site observations of state bridge inspections. Under current regulations, the highway administration requires states to inspect all bridges every two years. The agency has proposed rules that would permit inspection intervals of more than two years if a state's inspection plans are approved.

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