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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

165.03 MS 1957 [Renumbered 166.03]
165.03 STRENGTH OF BRIDGE; INSPECTION.
    Subdivision 1. Standards generally. Each bridge, including a privately owned bridge, must
conform to the strength, width, clearance, and safety standards imposed by the commissioner for
the connecting highway or street. This subdivision applies to a bridge that is constructed after
August 1, 1989, on any public highway or street. The bridge must have sufficient strength to
support with safety the maximum vehicle weights allowed under sections 169.822 to 169.829 and
must have the minimum width specified in section 165.04, subdivision 3.
    Subd. 2. Inspection and inventory responsibilities; rules; forms. (a) The commissioner
of transportation shall adopt official inventory and bridge inspection report forms for use in
making bridge inspections by the owners or highway authorities specified by this subdivision.
Bridge inspections shall be made at regular intervals, not to exceed two years, by the following
owner or official:
(1) the commissioner of transportation for all bridges located wholly or partially within or
over the right-of-way of a state trunk highway;
(2) the county highway engineer for all bridges located wholly or partially within or over
the right-of-way of any county or township road, or any street within a municipality which does
not have a city engineer regularly employed;
(3) the city engineer for all bridges located wholly or partially within or over the right-of-way
of any street located within or along municipal limits;
(4) the commissioner of transportation in case of a toll bridge that is used by the general
public and that is not inspected and certified under subdivision 6; provided, that the commissioner
of transportation may assess the owner for the costs of such inspection;
(5) the owner of a bridge over a public highway or street or that carries a roadway designated
for public use by a public authority, if not required to be inventoried and inspected under clause
(1), (2), (3), or (4).
(b) The commissioner of transportation shall prescribe the standards for bridge inspection
and inventory by rules. The owner or highway authority shall inspect and inventory in accordance
with these standards and furnish the commissioner with such data as may be necessary to maintain
a central inventory.
    Subd. 3. County inventory and inspection records and reports. The county engineer shall
maintain a complete inventory record of all bridges as set forth in subdivision 2, clause (2), with
the inspection reports thereof, and shall certify annually to the commissioner, as prescribed by the
commissioner, that inspections have been made at regular intervals not to exceed two years. A
report of the inspections shall be filed annually, on or before February 15 of each year, with the
county auditor or town clerk, or the governing body of the municipality. The report shall contain
recommendations for the correction of, or legal posting of load limits on any bridge or structure
that is found to be understrength or unsafe.
    Subd. 4. Municipal inventory and inspection records and reports. The city engineer shall
maintain a complete inventory record of all bridges as set forth in subdivision 2, clause (3), with
the inspection reports thereof, and shall certify annually to the commissioner, as prescribed by the
commissioner, that inspections have been made at regular intervals not to exceed two years. A
report of the inspections shall be filed annually, on or before February 15 of each year, with the
governing body of the municipality. The report shall contain recommendations for the correction
of, or legal posting of load limits on any bridge or structure that is found to be understrength
or unsafe.
    Subd. 5. Agreement. Agreements may be made among the various units of governments, or
between governmental units and qualified engineering personnel to carry out the responsibilities
for the bridge inspections and reports, as established by subdivision 2.
    Subd. 6. Other bridges. The owner of a toll bridge and the owner of a bridge described in
subdivision 2, clause (5), shall certify to the commissioner, as prescribed by the commissioner,
that inspections of the bridge have been made at regular intervals not to exceed two years.
The certification shall be accompanied by a report of the inspection. The report shall contain
recommendations for the correction of or legal posting of load limitations if the bridge is found to
be understrength or unsafe.
    Subd. 7. Department of Natural Resources bridge. (a) Notwithstanding subdivision 2,
the commissioners of transportation and natural resources shall negotiate a memorandum of
understanding that governs the inspection of bridges owned, operated, or maintained by the
commissioner of natural resources.
(b) The memorandum of understanding must provide for:
(1) the inspection and inventory of bridges subject to federal law or regulations;
(2) the frequency of inspection of bridges described in paragraph (a); and
(3) who may perform inspections required under the memorandum of understanding.
History: 1959 c 500 art 6 s 3; 1969 c 304 s 1; 1973 c 41 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1976 c
166 s 7; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1989 c 158 s 1; 1994 c 635 art 2 s 5; 1998 c 403 s 12