Steuben County – County Bridge Maintenance (S9-13-1)

Issued Date
July 19, 2013

[read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether counties are properly maintaining their bridges to ensure the safety of those who travel on them for the period January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011.


The County covers 1,390 square miles and has approximately 99,000 residents. The County is governed by a 17-member County Legislature. The County’s budgeted expenditures totaled $186 million in 2012. The DPW operating budget was $20.6 million for the 2012 fiscal year.

The County Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for the maintenance and monitoring of bridges and includes a professional engineer who is directly involved with the oversight of bridges. The DPW is responsible for the maintenance and repair of approximately 190 County-owned bridges and 157 town- and village-owned bridges.

Key Findings

  • The County does not track all maintenance and repairs by bridge, unless the bridge is being completely replaced or rehabilitated.
  • While the County does not have a written plan in place, it has implemented practices that have served to improve bridge ratings over an extended period of time and have maintained consistent ratings over the past 10 years. The County has reduced the number of deficient bridges in recent years, primarily by replacing and completely renovating six bridges each year.

Key Recommendations

  • Track yearly maintenance and repair expenditures by bridge.
  • Establish a written plan for bridge maintenance and replacement.