The Ontario Structure Inspection Manual has been used for bridge inspections in Ontario since 1985. The manual underwent significant modifications in the year 2000. The Manual will continue to evolve and comments and suggestions will be recorded and, if necessary, revisions will be made.
A new “severity and extent” philosophy has been adopted in order to simplify the process of using inspection information to estimate bridge rehabilitation needs and costs. The inspection process is quite similar to the old process except for changes in the way that inspection data is recorded. Material defects of various bridge components, as defined in Section 2, Part 1 of this manual are still valid. The new approach requires that more quantitative data be collected and recorded on the Condition State of bridge elements. Part 1 of the manual also describes the various components of a bridge. These components are grouped into convenient “Elements” for inspection purposes as described in Part 2. Although, primary, secondary and auxiliary components are described in Part 1, for inspection purposes, no distinction is made between these types of components.
The previous Material Condition Rating Tables in Part 2 of the manual have been replaced with Condition State Tables. Four Condition States have been defined for bridge elements, namely, Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor. The condition of bridge elements is defined to be in any one or more of these Condition States. At any given time, areas within a bridge element may be in different Condition States, or the whole of the element may be in the same Condition State. For each bridge element, the inspector assesses and records the amount (area, length or unit as appropriate) of the element in each of the four Condition States. This assessment is based predominately on visual observations, however, some non-destructive testing, such as hammer tapping of concrete for delamination, will be required to determine or verify areas in poor condition. Where an area in poor condition is noted, the area is to be delineated and measured.