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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 531H
Category: Science & Engineering


In the Washington State Department of Transportation, Bridge and Structures Office or Washington State Ferries:

• Serves as a technician specialist as designated in writing by the Bridge and Structures Engineer in the Bridge and Structures Office, or

• As a registered professional engineer, performs professional level bridge engineer tasks.

Distinguishing Characteristics

As a designated technician specialist: performs one of the following the majority of the time:

• As a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) Software Development Engineer, is responsible for CAD training for structural detailers and bridge engineers, and the development of CAD subroutines and computer methods to improve accuracy and efficiency of bridge plan preparation.

• Responsible for inventory management of corporate database; oversees bridge ownership transfers, coordinates with various statewide agency's, local agency's and consultants in collecting and distributing National Bridge Inventory (NBI) information. Inventory management of Bridge Management System (BMS) coding and data. Develops NBI submittal tapes for FHWA reports; monitors and assists local agencies with data submittal and transfer. Verifies inspection compliance and data/coding integrity. Works directly with Highway and Local Programs to support local agency inspection program needs.

• Performs specialized programming in Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, and Power Builder. Develops and maintains the laptop inspection computer program. Troubleshoots computer program problems, trains bridge engineers, local-county/city engineers, and consultants on laptop computer use, utilizing Bridge Inspection Manual guidelines.

As a registered professional engineer:

• Designs and checks the design of transportation structures of major complexity, size, and importance, (such as post-tensioned concrete box girder bridges, prestressed girder bridges at least 400 feet in length with skew and/or horizontal curvature, or steel plate girder bridges);


• Serves as Lead Inspector for condition inspection of bridges, subject to only general instructions and review of the work by a higher level engineer.

• Bridge Engineer 4’s are distinguished from Bridge Engineer 5 positions in that Bridge Engineer 4’s do not perform project management for large or multiple bridge projects, and are not required to perform independent structural design on the most complex bridges (such as, curved steel plate girder bridges, segmental bridges, or on major bridge rehabilitation or retrofit). Bridge Engineer 4 positions are distinguished from Bridge Engineer 3 positions by the Bridge Engineer 4’s responsibility for the entire range of technical bridge structural, mechanical or electrical engineering functions.

Typical Work

Selects and adapts techniques to solve Bridge Preservation information problems; coordinates with Washington State’s Highway and Local Programs Service Center to provide data flow and technical training to any Washington State Local Agency users of Bridge Inspection software;

Conducts routine and special bridge inspections;

Provides training on a statewide basis; instructs bridge inspection lead engineers and inspection team members on the use of the Bridge Inspection System software applications;

Approves or rejects applications for overload movements over State bridges; recommends alternate routings where necessary; Provides information to the public and other interested parties on bridge design and loading matters;

Investigates structures damaged by collision and recommends required repairs; oversees actual repairs and performs other specialized duties in connection with inspection of existing structures and evaluation of their condition, load carrying capacity, and life expectancy;

Prepares and checks designs for mechanical and electrical controls for bridges and for bridge lighting systems; checks plans for form and falsework details for bridges being constructed under State contracts;

Performs in-depth, routine and special electrical and mechanical inspections of the state’s movable bridges and other special structures;

Prepares electrical and mechanical inspection reports, recommending maintenance activities and rehabilitation projects with associated cost estimates;

Prepares preliminary structure feasibility studies for major structures;

Provides direct assistance to Regions with bridge project scoping and planning for bridge structure projects;

Serves as the technical subject matter expert for seismic design of bridges and serves as a project manager and Bridge and Structures Office representative for large and moderately complex bridge seismic design projects;

Performs structural analysis and design of major level transportation structures and components of complex level transportation structures;

Prepares and checks preliminary plans for large or multiple bridge projects, walls, and related structures of complex size and difficulty;

Prepares special provisions and cost estimates for major or intermediate level transportation structures;

Designs structures and foundations for overhead sign structures and special design illumination and traffic signal structures; maintains the library of pre-approved illumination and traffic signal structure plans from outside fabricators;

Develops subroutines and computer methods for computer-aided detailing processes;

Prepares preliminary bridge layouts for approval by supervisor as to general design approach;

Makes stress analyses of simple and statically indeterminate structures and designs major structural members to withstand expected loads;

Prepares designs of structural details for construction use; prepares standard construction details;

Checks and approves bridge designs prepared by other State engineers, by consultants and by county, city and federal jurisdictions;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Advanced engineering principles in the discipline of civil, structural, mechanical, or electrical; bridge design concepts; FHWA National Bridge Inventory Standards inspection and coding process; WSDOT's bridge preservation database (WSBIS) and Bridge Management Systems (BMS); programming languages (such as Visual Basic, C++, MSACCESS, SQL) and relational database theory; bridge engineering codes such as AASHTO and AISC.

Ability to: Communicate with design team members; prepare calculations, specifications, and a complete set of contract plans.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

For bridge technician positions:

• Two years of experience as a Bridge Engineer 3, Transportation Engineer 3, or equivalent.

For registered professional engineer positions:

• A Bachelor of Science degree involving major study in civil, mechanical, electrical or structural engineering, and one year experience as a Bridge Engineer 3, Transportation Engineer 3, or equivalent.


• Registration as a professional engineer in the branch of civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering in the State of Washington or another state, based on registration requirements equivalent to those in Washington.

Equivalent education/experience.


• Selective certification may be authorized for a mechanical or electrical license as required.
• Applicants qualifying through the licensing equivalency option must achieve professional registration as an engineer in the branch of civil, mechanical or electrical engineering in the State of Washington through reciprocity within six months of appointment to this class.
• Some positions may require a specific degree major.
• Possession of a valid driver's license may be required.

Class Specification History

Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, minimum qualifications, code change (formerly 6651), and title change (formerly Associate Bridge Engineer): November 13, 1981
Revised minimum qualifications: August 15, 1986
Revised minimum qualifications: November 15, 1991
Revised minimum qualifications: October 15, 1999
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, minimum qualifications, and general revision: November 9, 2001
New class code: (formerly 66430) effective July 1, 2007.
Base range salary adjustment adopted 6/13/2019, effective 7/1/2019.