The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) established Federal safety requirements for railroad bridges in 2010 under 49 CFR Part 237. VTrans established a Rail Bridge Management Program in September 2012 in accordance with these regulations. The program is responsible for collecting and maintaining an inventory of rail bridges, their condition, and making recommendations on repairs, strengthening or replacement of components or entire structures. These regulations also mandate that annual safety inspections are performed for each bridge. All bridges have had an initial load capacity analysis completed as of September 2017 in accordance with these regulations. The load capacity analysis is verified or updated on a 10 year recurring cycle or when a planned project will affect the capacity of a bridge.
There are 216 rail bridges on State-owned property. The State is responsible for 174 of those bridges, with the railroad operator responsible for the remaining 42 bridges through existing lease agreements.
If you have any questions, please contact Erin Charbonneau, the VTrans Rail Bridge Management Engineer.