March 22, 1995
During or immediately following an emergency event, such as a major storm, chemical spill, accident flood, or earthquake, it will be imperative to ascertain the condition (even existence) of bridges, especially those on lifeline routes.
The procedures outlined in this guide are intended to facilitate quick initial determination of bridge conditions; make maximum use of available personnel, whether or not they are trained inspectors; aid in accurate bridge condition reporting to incident commanders and the media; minimize duplication and conflicting reports through use of a simple bridge tagging convention; and promote follow-up and priority setting for treatment of identified problems.
This tagging method uses green, yellow, and red spray paint. If spray paint is not available, then crayons, felt markers on plastic or paper tags, felt markers on survey flagging ribbon, or improvised substitutes are all acceptable. To improve the probability that spray paints are available, the utilities inspectors and survey crews shall use the spray paint on an ongoing basis (avoiding conflicts with utility location marks), and keep a stock of a least 12 cans of each color available.
Tagging should be located on the downstream side, near the bridge end closest to the right bank of the stream. If flow direction is difficult to determine (or there is no flow), use a location near either end of the bridge clearly visible from the roadway.
Tags should be painted on a fixed vertical surface located at or near one end of the bridge, clearly visible from the roadway. Examples of good locations include the inside face of a concrete parapet wall or wing wall; and inside face of approach guardrail.
Alternative type tags should be securely attached to a rail, post, or other sturdy object, near the end of the bridge and visible from the roadway.