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Monday, January 7, 2008

Preventing Bridge Collapses

How many people are affected when a bridge collapses? The deceased, the injured, the survivors, the rescuers, the witnesses, volunteers who help, the hospitals and countless others.

Let's talk about the costs associated with the rescue, recovery and repair....millions I would imagine.
Could the nightmare of a bridge collapse have been avoided?

As I drive through my town and the surrounding towns, I witness repairs being made on bridges. Thoughts of collapse always flood my mind as I drive over a bridge.

How many bridges in the US are in need of repair?

The US House of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved a bill that would provide an additional $2 Billion over the next 2 years to states to improve the condition of structurally deficient bridges on our highways.

The bill would require states to immediately inspect all deficient bridges and continue to inspect those bridges every year thereafter. All other bridges must still be inspected every other year.

Under this bill, the Federal Highway Administration would have to update its Natural Bridge Inspection Standards and require uniformity in how states conduct inspections and evaluations.

Also under this bill, the US Department of Transportation has been directed to develop a risk based priority process for states to assign priority for the reconstruction of each deficient or obsolete bridge.

The Condition of US Highway Bridges by State:
RED= Poor
ORANGE= Below Average
YELLOW= Average
GREEN= Above Average
BLUE= Good

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