Friday, August 3, 2007

Bridge blues

I was horrified and saddened to learn about the bridge collapse in Minnesota. This is actually the same highway I drive on several times a week, except it's about 1,500 miles south of where the collapse occurred. While the collapse of one bridge does not automatically mean other bridges are in danger, this is as good a time as any to look at bridge safety overall. The picture is not pretty--according to Burnt Orange Report (using Federal Highway Authority reports), 193 bridges were rated as "structurally deficient" by the Department of Transportation in 2006. I've had a hard time making it through the 33-page report, so I don't know if any of the six bridges I frequent made the list. I will eventually find out, but that's not really the issue--all bridges should be routinely maintained and checked for safety standards. Tell your representatives.

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