2,100 Texas Bridges Are Deficient, But Safe - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/2/07

2,100 Texas Bridges Are Deficient, But Safe

More than 2,100 Texas bridges have been classified under the same "structurally deficient" rating given to the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota. But state officials insist all Texas bridges are completely safe.

Structurally deficient bridges accounted for four percent of the state's approximately 50,000 bridges in a 2006 report by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Seventy-seven percent of Texas bridges were labeled good or better. Most of the rest were deemed functionally obsolete, meaning they aren't designed to handle current traffic demand.

TxDOT spokesman Mark Cross says Texas bridges are inspected at least every two years and those with critical issues are checked out more frequently.

State Senator Robert Nichols of Jacksonville says even bridges deemed structurally deficient are still capable of carrying much more weight than could possibly be applied.

Nichols served on the Texas Transportation Commission for eight years.

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