Ontario’s bridges are safe. Ontario is the only province in Canada to legislate a requirement that provincial bridge inspections occur every two years and are conducted by or under the supervision of a professional engineer.
A Bridge Condition Index (BCI) rating is a planning tool that helps the Ministry schedule maintenance and upkeep. The BCI is not used to rate or indicate the safety of a bridge. The result is organized into ranges from 0 to 100. Immediate action is taken to address any safety concerns.
Good - BCI Range 70 -100
For a bridge with a BCI greater than 70, maintenance work is not usually required within the next five years.
Fair - BCI Range 60 -70
For a bridge with a BCI between 60 and 70 the maintenance work is usually scheduled within the next five years. This is the ideal time to schedule major bridge repairs from an economic perspective.
Poor - BCI Less than 60
For a bridge with a BCI rating of less than 60, maintenance work is usually scheduled within approximately one year.
Ontario is a leader in bridge safety. Our comprehensive bridge inspection standards have been adopted by other Canadian jurisdictions. Ontario is the only province in Canada to legislate mandatory bridge inspections every two calendar years.
Bridges are inspected by or under the supervision of a professional engineer. The inspector assesses each bridge component to see if any repairs are needed. Any bridge repairs required to maintain safety are performed immediately.
Provincial bridges undergo a general maintenance inspection at least twice a year. This is in addition to a more detailed, bridge inspection every two years that is led or supervised by a trained, professional engineer.
A bridge inspector must be a professional engineer or a technician with bridge inspection experience. Additionally, bridge inspectors working for the Ministry of Transportation must complete the Ministry of Transportation bridge inspection course. During this course, inspectors are updated on what bridge components to inspect, how to inspect each component, how to identify a defect, how to record information from the inspection and how to make recommendations for bridge repairs. To ensure that inspectors are up-to-date on the latest in bridge safety, they are expected to attend this course every two years.
A. For public inquiries, please call the Ministry of Transportation at 1-800-268-4686.
The Ontario Structure Inspection Manual (OSIM) sets the standards for detailed bridge inspections and provides a uniform approach for professional engineers and other inspectors to follow.
The Ontario Structure Inspection Manual can be found on the Ministry of Transportation library website.