Study shows 25% of Alabama bridges ‘structurally deficient or functionally obsolete’

(CBS42)
(CBS42)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1369434119&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4071510&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1369434119 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Your daily commute likely takes you over at least one of the thousands of bridges across Alabama. According to a report, 25% of those structures are classified as either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

The statistics are concerning to a lot of people who live and work here. The American Automobile Association is also taking note.

“The biggest thing to AAA as far as the condition of these bridges goes, is safety. That’s something that we’re watching every day,” Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama said.

The Road Information Program (TRIP) report shows 5% of the Birmingham region’s 548 bridges are rated structurally deficient. That means engineers have identified a major defect in the support structure or deck. Bridges under this classification require yearly inspections, while those in better shape can go as many as four years between inspections.

The report also shows that 18% of Birmingham area bridges are functionally obsolete. That means they were built to past standards but do not meet the requirements for a new bridge.

Either classification, say experts, does not mean a bridge is inherently unsafe.

And for more on bridge safety, check CBS42’s special report on dangerous bridges from earlier in the year.

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Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

 

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