Bridges and highway structures

Information about how we assess, maintain, and strengthen bridges in Suffolk, as well as how to report a problem with a bridge.

All road bridges in Suffolk have been assessed to check if they have the capacity to carry 40 tonne lorries as required by the European Union (EU).  

Where road bridges are not up to strength we may:

  • impose a weight restriction
  • monitor the bridge for signs of damage
  • replace the bridge
  • strengthen the bridge

Report a problem

You can report a problem with a bridge quickly and easily online using our Highways Reporting Tool.

Bridge maintenance and inspections

We will investigate reported problems and take any necessary action. If the problem is considered to be dangerous it will be investigated as a matter of urgency and appropriate action taken.

If it is not dangerous, for example graffiti, it will be assessed and work may be scheduled in with other planned work. 

Bridges on busier roads or with unsuitable alternative routes will normally take priority for work. A programme of work is planned several years ahead, but can be changed year by year if priorities change.

Structures are inspected in 4 ways:

General inspections Structures are visited once every 2 years during which the condition of the bridge is recorded
Principal inspections Scheduled every 6-10 years on a set of significant structures when a more detailed inspection is undertaken, which could also include material testing being carried out
Special or monitoring inspections Where only partial inspections have been possible, further special inspections are set up. These might include confined space entry, CCTV, boat access, scaffold/platform access, etc.
Emergency inspections These usually arise as a result of a road traffic accident where a quick response is required to check for structural damage and to make the bridge safe for the highway user.

Roadworks near highway bridges

If you are planning works which could affect a structure on a highway which is maintained by us, you need to complete a Section 63 Notice and send it to us as the bridge authority for highways in Suffolk, as specified in Section 88 and Section 63 (Schedule 4) of the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA).

This is typically, but not exclusively, where excavation works are within 5 metres of a highway structure. The works promoter is responsible for precisely locating the works and any affected structures.

How to download and complete the section 63 Notice.

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