Nation's bridge troubles

  • Updated: August 1, 2008 - 7:20 AM

Find structural ratings of Minnesota bridges at startribune.com/infocenter.

An Associated Press review of repairs on each state's 20 most-traveled bridges with structural deficiencies found only 12 percent have been fixed. The most common approach was to plan for repairs later rather than fix problems now. The bridges reviewed -- 1,020 in all -- are not in imminent danger of collapse, state engineers said. But officials acknowledge that the structures need improvement, many sooner rather than later. Among the findings:

• Sixty-four percent of the bridges received no work beyond regular maintenance, though most were targeted for some kind of future work.

• Twelve percent had their structural defects fixed, usually through a major rehabilitation or outright replacement.

• An additional 24 percent have seen a partial improvement, either through a short-term repair to temporarily address the defect or an ongoing project that is not yet complete. The worst were Indiana, Oklahoma, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where work was conducted on only one of each state's 20 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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