Many US Bridges Old, Risky, and Rundown

9:56 PM, Sep 15, 2013   |    comments
  • Photos Courtesy NC DOT.
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Washington, D.C. -- Thousands of bridges around the United States have a combination of red flags that raise safety concerns.

An Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory found that 7,795 of them were labeled as both "structurally deficient" and "fracture critical." The bridges carry more than 29 million vehicles a day.

A bridge is "structurally deficient" when it is in need of repairs because at least one major component is in poor condition or worse. 

A bridge is deemed "fracture critical" when it doesn't have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails.

Officials say the spans are safe and not about to collapse. States generally lack the cash to replace or rehab so many bridges at once.


The Associated Press

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