State bridge inspections reveal 6 percent in critical condition

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The latest round of bridge inspections in Missouri revealed 641 of the state’s 10,317 bridges are in critical condition, or the worst condition before they must be closed. That’s an increase of 50 bridges from last year.

Deterioration of road and bridges is expected, but the current funding situation for transportation infrastructure makes it more problematic. In a typical year, Missouri Department of Transportation officials said, 50 to 100 bridges are added to that list. But with current state funding levels, MoDOT is only working on repairing about 30 of those bridges per year.

State Bridge Engineer Dennis Heckman said it’s difficult to predict which of the bridges currently listed in critical condition will close in the next year, but that some are likely to.

“I’m not saying these 640 are going to close in the next year,” he said, “but there’s going to be some, that’s for sure.”

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