Study: 1 in 9 U.S. bridges is 'structurally deficient'

Study: 1 in 9 U.S. bridges is 'structurally deficient'

Posted: Updated:

Chances are you either drive under or over a bridge on your way into work. A new study discovered that one in nine bridges across the U.S. are considered structurally deficient.

What does that mean for drivers here in Atlanta, and where does Georgia rank in this national study?

The big picture is that 42 inspectors are charged with watching over 15,000 bridges throughout the Peach State. It's a tall task and one that inspectors say they take very seriously.

Bridge maintenance engineers with the Georgia Department of Transportation are a busy group with such a massive responsibility. They make sure that in every aspect the bridges you and I use every day are structurally sound; that each bridge's particular height and weight restrictions are adhered to.

In one instance, it didn't take the group long to locate a pothole on the edge of one Georgia bridge. It's one of the important problems that they keep a constant watch for.

"We would never put [drivers] on a bridge that was unsafe for them to go over."

But, a new report released by Transportation for America shows 11 percent of U.S. bridges are considered structurally deficient. TFA is a United States policy organization primarily focused on building grassroots support for -- and enacting -- federal, state, and local government laws that support progressive transportation and land use policy," according to Wikipedia.

The words "structurally deficient" can not only sound scary, but may also be pretty alarming if you don't know exactly what it means. It doesn't mean the bridge is dangerous, but that it requires extra attention, repairs or needs to be replaced.

It most cases, it's the age and the increased traffic on a bridge that can cause problems. The height and weight the bridge was originally built for at one time is now being exceeded by current use.

Georgia ranks 7th best in the U.S. when it comes to having structurally sound bridges.

"We are proud of our bridges. Does that mean we have zero percent structurally deficient? No, we have six percent; but we're working our way to zero."

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:03:23 GMT
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
  • Brewery Celebrates The "Sweet" Life At 420 Fest

    Brewery Celebrates The "Sweet" Life At 420 Fest

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:45:46 GMT
    A new venue and a major headlining band are set to make this year's 10th Annual SweetWater 420 Fest the biggest yet.
    A new venue and a major headlining band are set to make this year's 10th Annual SweetWater 420 Fest the biggest yet.
  • FOX Medical Team

    Eat for the Test!

    Eat for the Test!

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-04-17 11:48:58 GMT
    If you want your student to test well, Cheryl Williams, a registered dietitian with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says breakfast is the most important meal.
    If you want your student to test well, Cheryl Williams, a registered dietitian with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says breakfast is the most important meal.
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:03:23 GMT
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
  • How to prevent pothole problems

    How to prevent pothole problems

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 7:56 AM EDT2014-04-08 11:56:23 GMT
    There are still hundreds of pot holes around metro Atlanta and your car could be really taking a hit.
    There are still hundreds of pot holes around metro Atlanta and your car could be really taking a hit.
  • What is E-10 Fuel?

    What is E-10 Fuel?

    Thursday, April 3 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-04-03 13:30:08 GMT
    Ethanol is a renewable fuel, administered by the EPA and blended into gasoline to help with greenhouse gas emissions.
    Ethanol is a renewable fuel, administered by the EPA and blended into gasoline to help with greenhouse gas emissions.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices