Code of practice for the management of highway structures

Code of Practice for the Management of Highway Structures (Revision 3 April 2010)

In July 2001 a national Code of Practice for Maintenance Management was published titled ‘Delivering Best Value in Highway Maintenance’.  This publication required all local Highway Authorities to develop individual highway maintenance policy documents appropriate for their circumstances.  Cornwall County Council produced a Highway Maintenance Plan, which was developed through the Community Life Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee and approved by the Executive on 15 October 2003.  That Plan is updated annually.  Whilst it was recognised that there was a need for a similar plan for bridges and other highway structures, to reflect any change in circumstances or funding, there was no framework or programme for its delivery at the time.

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The Council’s first Structures Code of Practice was prepared primarily to seek approval for the frequency of structural inspections of Highway Structures including Bridges, Retaining Walls and Culverts (refer to 2.2.1 for a complete definition of ‘Structures’). That Code of Practice was approved by the Council Executive on 6 April 2005.

The long anticipated national standard, ‘Management of Highway Structures – A Code of Practice’, was published in September 2005. The national code of practice is a comprehensive document summarising all current structures management issues and also giving guidance on the implementation of asset valuation and asset management.

This second issue of the CCC Code of Practice includes;

  • a gap analysis comparing CCC practice to the recommendations of the national standard (refer 1.9) 
  • a record of the asset value of the structures stock (refer 2.1.1)
  •  prioritisation models for strengthening, capital maintenance and minor maintenance works (refer 2.4.4)

This document issue does not include an action plan to close the apparent gaps between national and local practice but the necessary actions are being considered and will be addressed as part of the developing asset management agenda.

Whilst there is an intention to adopt similar proposals to those contained in this document for all structures, they have not yet been adopted for structures on the Public Rights of Way network.