Bureau of Indian Affairs - Western Region Bridge Inspections

Statewide, Arizona

As a subconsultant to Proudfoot Associates, KCI inspected 95 highway bridges and large culverts on Native American lands throughout eastern and southern Arizona for the Western Region of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The project involved routine condition inspections of bridge structures of various types including: box culverts, concrete slabs, concrete beams, pre-stressed concrete, corrugated metal pipe culverts, corrugated metal plate arches, steel beams, and timber bridges. The bridges were located within the following reservations: Hopi, Papago, Fort Apache, White Mountain Apache, Salt River, and San Carlos. One of the largest bridges in this assignment required the use of an under-bridge inspection vehicle and temporary traffic controls.

For the field work, KCI utilized a single two-person inspection team to deploy to Arizona on two separate trips, in conjunction with an inspection team from Proudfoot Associates. The field work was also complicated by the need to conduct separate and multiple in-briefings and out-briefings with the BIA Regional Office, each Tribal representative, and each local Department of Public Works representative (sometimes as an escort for the team) before and after the inspection of each small group of bridges.

This was a unique inspection assignment with a new client and teaming partner—it was a learning experience, and many unique challenges were overcome.

John M. Hudacek, PEPractice Leader

John M. Hudacek, PE

During the course of the inspections, our team discovered two instances of critical findings on bridges related to large shear cracks at the ends of concrete beams. This serious defect had existed for several cycles (according to previous reports), but had never been flagged as such by previous inspectors. The KCI team leader immediately informed Proudfoot and the local client representatives to these situations. In both cases, the bridges were closed until remedial actions could be implemented.

Bridge inspection reports were generated for each structure inspected in BIA’s centralized Indian Reservation Roads, Bridge Management System (IRR-BMS), which was accessed online.