Lubbock Bridges Are Safe - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/2/07

Lubbock Bridges Are Safe

The Minnesota bridge collapse has drivers across the country asking, "are the bridges we drive across every day safe?" 

Texas Department of Transportation engineers assure us that all 431 bridges in the Lubbock area are safe.

"The people traveling the roads on the South Plains should be reassured," Randy Hopmann said.

Hopmann is a structural engineer for TxDot. His number one job is to make sure the roads and bridges we drive on everyday are safe.

"The bridges today are designed with additional safety features and redundancy in their design to raise the safety factors for things that cannot be predicted," Hopmann added.

Each of the 431 bridges on the South Plains are required to be inspected every two years by the federal government. In their last inspection, nearly two years ago, every bridge was deemed structurally sound.

"And just because it may be deemed structurally deficient does not necessarily mean it's in danger of collapsing," Hopmann said.

An inspection team inspects every surface, top to bottom looking for cracks that may not be visible to drivers.

Bridges in the area are up for their next federal inspection this fall and NewsChannel 11 will of course follow those results.

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