this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the
Inspector General plans to conduct an audit of the Federal Highway
Administration’s oversight of structurally deficient bridges on
the national highway system.
audit’s objective is to evaluate whether structurally deficient
bridges have been inspected in accordance with National Bridge Inspection
Standards. Another objective: to determine whether FHWA’s oversight
is effective to address the deficiencies on these bridges.
we will evaluate whether FHWA provides adequate oversight to ensure
state inspections are performed and recorded properly, and to monitor
state plans and programs to address the structural deficiencies
on these bridges,” the OIG said.
a September report prepared for the FHWA and the American Association
of State Highway and Transportation Officials concluded the nation’s
highway system has vulnerabilities critical enough “to be a matter
of national security.”
panel of engineers and experts from across the country prepared
the report and contributed their time with no compensation.
panel) believes that loss of a critical bridge or tunnel could exceed
$10 billion,” the report said. “Moreover, the regional economic
consequences of a major coordinated terrorist attack on multiple
facilities are almost inestimable.”
report said 1,000 among the nation’s 600,000 bridges, if attacked,
would result in substantial casualties, economic disruption and
other societal ramifications
a related development, Iyman Faris was sentenced last month to 20
years in prison for providing material support and resources to
al Qaeda and conspiracy for providing the terrorist organization
with information about possible U.S. targets for attack — including
the Brooklyn Bridge.