Getting Started with BPMP

Have you heard of the Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program (a.k.a. BPMP) but are not quite sure if you have the staff expertise or sufficient federal funds to put one in place for your agency?  Well, worry no longer.  This post is for you.

Developing the BPMP List

You’ll be relieved to know, developing the City’s Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program (BPMP) list is not as in-depth as you may be thinking.  This amount of programmed PE is solely to develop an initial list of BPMP eligible bridges you wish to address with the BPMP.  Please keep in mind, the in-depth development of each bridge on the list occurs during project implementation. During project implementation, a separate PE phase is implemented for each BPMP project, which may include a single or multiple bridges from the BPMP list.

The procedure for developing your BPMP list is fairly straight forward.  Using the latest available “Local Agency Bridge List,” located here (, the Engineer should be able to determine which of your bridges are and are not eligible for replacement or rehabilitation. Of the bridges not eligible for replacement or rehabilitation, the Engineer should be able to use the Bridge Inspection Reports to determine which bridges need preventative maintenance to extend their service life, and keep them from needing more severe repairs later.  More severe repairs, in this case, means replacement or rehabilitation, while later means within the next ten years minimum.

Again, using the Bridge Inspection Reports, the Engineer should be able to come up with a preliminary scope of work for each bridge; examples of this include overlay, painting, spall repair, scour repair, etc.

The City will need to have a set of objective procedures in place, which can be used to prioritize the BPMP bridges based on need.  The Bridge Inspection Reports could provide sufficient information to determine this priority.

Having a general scope of work, the Engineer could then calculate a very rough estimate of the cost of work, which could be based on a unit cost per total deck area.  [As you are estimating the cost of work please keep in mind, activities exceeding $50/sq.ft. (total deck area basis) scope must be approved  by HQ.]

The remainder of the work is getting the information together in the correct format for submittal and writing a cover letter certifying compliance with the BPMP Guidelines.  These are the general steps, other agencies have been using to develop their BPMP lists.  For more information on this process, you will find attached a copy of the Bridge Preventative Maintenance Program Guidelines.

As you can see, this process is fairly straight forward.  If you have someone on your staff who is familiar with the process of developing preliminary estimates for projects with similar scope, then you certainly have the expertise in house to put this list together.  Additionally, the programmed amount of $17,500 should be sufficient for doing the work.

Implementing the BPMP List

When it comes time to implement the BPMP, there are a few things the Engineer will want to keep in mind.

First, the Engineer should look over the BPMP list for bridges with similar needs that can be grouped together into a single BPMP project; for example, bridges that all need overlays could be grouped into a single project.  It is recommended projects involving scour, painting or significant environmental work is anticipated, not be combined with other BPMP bridges for a single project.  This is to avoid slowing down simple, straight forward BPMP bridges with the bridges needing more environmental complex work.

Regarding programming, if the Engineer does not specify the programming, or the Preliminary Engineering (PE) and Construction (CON) cost breakout; the funds will be programmed as follows:

  • PE will be programmed at 25% of the total estimated project amount, in the very next Fiscal Year from when the plan was submitted.
  • CON will be programmed at 75% of the total estimated project amount, two years after PE is programmed.

Adjustments to the Approved BPMP List

If it turns out there is a bust in the cost estimate, the BPMP has a procedure is in place to modify the City’s BPMP list by changing scope, changing the estimated amounts, or modifying the bridges shown on the list.  Programming these adjustments into the FTIP is allowed twice a year; these are at the time of the Bridge Survey in September and in December. You will find more discussion on this procedure in the BPMP Guidelines, which can be found here (

If you have any questions on the above information, or the BPMP please feel free to call your friendly Local Assistance Engineer.  They’ll be glad to help you.

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