How to obtain a Bridge Assessment

Operators wanting to access the Victorian road network using High Productivity Freight Vehicles (HPFV) outside of the approved (green) areas, as indicated in the HPFV maps located on this page, will require a Bridge Assessment if crossing a bridge. 

When is a Bridge Assessment required for a HPFV?

Operators will also require a Bridge Assessment if the HPFV combination does not meet VicRoads reference vehicle designs or when operating a HPFV at a mass above what is allowed on an orange or red structure.

What is a class 2 vehicle?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 states, a Heavy Vehicle is a Class 2 Heavy Vehicle if it is a B-double, road train or a vehicle that complies with the Performance Based Standards (PBS) (External link).

When is a Bridge Assessment required for Class 2 vehicles?

If you have applied to operate a B-Double, A-Double or a PBS combination above 68.5 tonnes on the Victorian road network there may be some bridges unable to accommodate your vehicle. VicRoads will need to assess the mass of your combination to identify where you can travel. The table below shows the mass that will trigger a Bridge Assessment:

Class 2 Vehicle combination Exceeds
B-double 68.5 tonnes*
A-double 68.5 tonnes*
Innovative PBS 43.0 tonnes*
Quad-axle Semi trailer 46.0 tonnes*
 *These numbers are indicative only. A bridge assessment may still be required due to other factors such as non-standard axle groups. 

How do I apply for a Bridge Assessment?

STEP 1 - VicRoads or the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, on advice from VicRoads, will inform you that a Bridge Assessment is required. On receipt of this advice, you will be required to make a decision within 2 weeks if you would like to continue with your application. 

STEP 2 - If you elect to go ahead with your Bridge Assessment you will be required to provide written acceptance of a $500 quotation fee. If you do not already have an account with VicRoads a credit application form will be provided. The form must be completed and returned to VicRoads in order for any works to continue.

For existing customers of VicRoads, please note that any outstanding unpaid debt with VicRoads will be taken into consideration when you apply for a bridge assessment.

STEP 3 - VicRoads will prepare your quote as soon as possible. Once completed, your quote will be emailed to you with the total amount owing (less the $500 quotation fee paid). You have a further 2 weeks to accept this quote and inform VicRoads that you wish to continue. If you elect not to proceed with the bridge assessment then you will be invoiced for the $500 quotation fee and the permit application will be cancelled.

STEP 4 – Once your written acceptance of the quote has been received, VicRoads will set an expected completion date for your Bridge Assessment. This will be based on the complexity of the job and date of acceptance of the quote.

STEP 5 - You will receive the results of the assessment on its completion. The outcome of the assessment will form part of your permit application. You will also be invoiced for the total amount owing.

How much does a Bridge Assessment cost?

The cost of a bridge assessment will vary depending on the level of access, the number of vehicles the applicant requests to check and the number and complexity of structures on the route.  A route with more complex structures will need more time to assess. The estimates below are based on historical data and are indicative only: 

Number of vehicles Number of Routes Total Amount Timeframe
1 1 $1,000-$8,000 2 weeks
1 Multiple $2,000-$30,000 2+ weeks
Multiple 1 $2,000-$10,000 2+ weeks
Multiple Multiple $2,000-$50,000+ 2+ weeks

How long is a Bridge Assessment valid?

A Bridge Assessment expires two years after the date of approval, at this time if you wish to continue operating a class 2 combination on the nominated route, you will need to apply for another Bridge Assessment.

When can a past assessment approval be utilised?

VicRoads can track past jobs in some instances. Any available past assessments should be provided on application when submitted.

What if the bridge assessment request is rejected? 

 VicRoads will never reject your application. If VicRoads deems your vehicle too heavy for the route you have nominated, your request will be approved at a lower operating mass. In some circumstances VicRoads may suggest an alternative route that may be better suited for your combination.

What if an application requires changes?

Any changes to the vehicle, route or conditions in an application will require a new application to the NHVR. If the change is substantial this will require a new quote at the discretion of VicRoads. 

What will my bridge assessment report contain?

Your report will include:

  • The maximum mass you are allowed to operate your vehicle at.
  • The route/s you are allowed to operate on.
  • If required, the reduced mass you may operate at (refer to the below table).

If required, the structures which are unable support the mass requested.

 RAS No. Road Name Featured Crossed  Map Ref Approved Mass (t)
79t A double
1  SN1470 Murray Valley Hwy (Sec 3) Broken Creek  VSD 32E2 71
2  SN1490 Murray Valley Hwy (Sec 3)
Wakiti Creek  VSD 32D4 75
3  SN1491 Murray Valley Hwy (Sec 3)
Goulburn River  VSD 32C4 76.5
 *The above table is an example of a completed assessment for a 79 tonnes A-Double on a specific route. The vehicle has been approved at a lower mass of 71 tonnes due to limitations on the Broken Creek Bridge.

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