Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Environmental areas - asbestos

WisDOT's asbestos policy

WisDOT’s policy is that no asbestos-containing material should be used in the construction or maintenance of a bridge facility.

All buildings that are to be demolished or sold and moved are required to be inspected for asbestos prior to demolition or removal. These inspections are typically done during the Real Estate process.

Standard special provisions (STSPs)

There are several different special provisions for asbestos, which one you use will depend on the findings of the inspection. The STSP index includes guidance on when to use each of the STSPs:

The PS&E submittal letter includes a section on Asbestos.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Health Services (DHS) online asbestos notification program

The DNR - Asbestos Renovation and Demolition Notification (ARDN) system makes it easier for building owners and contractors to submit and make changes to their required notices. Notification to DNR or DHS is required for most building demolition and asbestos removal 10 business days prior to beginning any work.

Asbestos inspection and environmental documentation – FDM procedure 21-35-45

FDM 21-35-45 includes the inspection of bridge structures for asbestos containing material, and how to address asbestos in the environmental document for the project.

Conducting inspections

As of April, 2005 all bridge asbestos inspections for any project that will be administered by WisDOT, including local road bridges, projects designed by consultants under contract to WisDOT, and projects designed in-house by WisDOT will be conducted through a contract administered by the Bureau of Technical Services, Environmental services section. To request an inspection, fill out the asbestos worksheet and email it, along with a bridge location map, and photos of the structure (if available) to Shar TeBeest.

Scheduling of the inspections will be prioritized by environmental document date, and PS&E date. The inspections are grouped to reduce overall costs and mobilization charges.

Unexpected asbestos in construction - Construction and Materials Manual (CMM) Chapter

Chapter of the CMM contains the current procedures for handling asbestos in an emergency setting. Additional updates to other WisDOT manuals, policies and procedures will be added as they are completed.

If you have questions about the WisDOT asbestos program, please contact Shar TeBeest.


I thought it was illegal to use asbestos?

Asbestos mining ended in the US in 2002, however the US still imports over a thousand tons of asbestos every year for use in roofing, coatings, and various other materials.

Where is asbestos commonly found on bridges?

The three most common locations are in the gaskets or grout in the expansion joints in parapet walls, in the grout under railing bolt plates, and in the tar-like material used to seal the tops of wooden posts in the wing walls.

Sidewall expansion joint. Grout under railing bolt plate. Tar-like material on timber support.

Can you tell if a material is asbestos containing just by looking at it?

No. The fibers are so small they cannot be detected without a microscope. This is why we have to sample the material to determine if it contains asbestos.

Do I submit culverts for inspection as well?

No. The inspections are currently limited to those structures meeting the federal definition of bridges. (Those that currently have a B- or P- number in the Highway Structures Information System (HSIS).



Contact Shar Te Beest.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Janet Nodorft, janet.nodorft@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: April 1, 2015

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