More than 2,000 bridges across Texas are deemed structurally deficient and five of those bridges are on the South Plains. It's part of a new report just released by TxDOT. But just two weeks ago, TxDOT Structural Engineer Randy Hopmann said that all bridges on the South Plains are sound.
So Friday we asked Hopmann, "Two weeks ago when we were here, you said and I quote, 'we have 431 bridges on the state system and I'm happy to report that we have zero that are structurally deficient bridges, but in a report that just came out yesterday (Thursday) it says that there are five structurally deficient. Can you explain that?"
"The difference is that there are 431 on state system bridges," Hopmann responded.
The five bridges in question are maintained by counties not TxDOT.
These are the deficient bridges in our area:
NewsChannel 11 then asked Hopmann, "What can the county do now to make them sufficient again?"
"There are five that are deemed structurally deficient. What that means... As you recall when we visited a couple of weeks ago. Structurally deficient doesn't mean they're unsafe bridges it just means that the structural loading capacity has been reduced from the 80,000 pound standard," Hopmann said.
Hopmann added that if the capacity drops below a safe level the bridge will be closed by the state. But up until then, it is the county's job to make any and all repairs to the bridge. The state can't force that to happen. Hopmann also said that these five bridges have so little traffic, that it's not rare that a day can go past where no vehicles pass over them.
If you would like to view the entire report, (click here).
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