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Technical approval for structures

Technical Approval (TA) is required for all new and existing structures with potential highway implications whether or not they are eventually intended to be adopted by the County Council. Proposals can relate to design, construction, widening, assessment, improvement, repair (where structural integrity is implicated), and demolition.

The purpose of the TA procedures are to ensure that all structures are safe to implement, that any new structures procured are serviceable in use, economic to build and maintain, comply with the objectives of sustainability, have due regard for the environment and that they satisfactorily perform their intended functions.

The TA procedures also ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that highway users, the public and any others who may be affected are protected from adverse effects resulting from any work carried out to any highway structure.

The type of structures include bridges, tunnels, subways, culverts, retaining walls, reinforced earth structures, gantries, pipe bridges, buried corrugated steel structures and temporary structures; however, this list is not exhaustive and, if in doubt, the County Council as the Technical Approval Authority (TAA) should be consulted to determine applicability.

Applying for technical approval

Please read our design guide before applying.

It is recommended that the developer or designer should consult us regarding proposals at an early stage to ensure that all requirements are identified to enable the proposals to be fully considered. Initial contact should be made to the Highway Structures Approvals Mailbox.

Initial submissions for the technical approval of highway structures must be accompanied by:

After this process, we will consider the proposals, give an initial response to the submission and assign it to one of the four checking categories contained within CG 300.  “Technical approval of highway structures” contained in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) published by Highways England.

Formal applications

After initial submissions, a formal submission must be submitted to include:

  • an Approval in Principle (AIP) pro forma – where required depending on the checking category assigned at the initial stage (example pro forma available). This must be prepared to CG 300 and include:

The A.I.P. and design and check certificates are to contain details of the imposed loading agreed with the Technical Approval Authority (TAA) and shall clearly state that designs have been carried out to the appropriate load models and special vehicles as detailed in BS EN 1991-2:2003 and agreed with the TAA, quoting the types.  Similarly where retaining walls are concerned, quoting the agreed surcharge and accidental wheel load that has been agreed with the Technical Approval authority.  The AIP shall also record all the agreed criteria on which the design or assessment is to be based.

The above and any accompanying information should be sent electronically to the Highway Structures Approvals Mailbox.

Applications will be responded to within a target of two weeks following receipt of the submission.

Construction work must not proceed without the approval of the County Council as Technical Approval Authority.

During work

We will carry out site inspections, as necessary, during the construction and prior to the handover to the end user, whether the structure is to be adopted by the Authority or not. The level and approximate number of inspections required on site will be advised when the written design and check certificates are accepted and returned at the end of the formal submission stage.

Finished work

A certificate of construction completion should be submitted to the Highway Structures Approvals Mailbox.

Where it has been agreed that the structure will be adopted a full maintenance manual and health and a safety file with as-built drawings will be required to close the approval process.