Report from State DOT Red Flags Bridges in need of Repair

1:56 PM, Mar 18, 2009   |    comments
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The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has put together a new report on the safety of more than 17,000 bridges drivers use each day. Scroll down for a searchable database of bridges in Western New York. NYSDOT is responsible for making sure all the highway bridges in the state are inspected following state and federal mandates. NYSDOT inspects its own highway bridges, as well as highway bridges owned by localities, railroads and commissions that do not collect tolls, ultimately inspecting about 94 percent of the highway bridges in the state. Part of these inspections involve identifying bridges that are either "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete." Bridges are considered "structurally deficient," according to the Federal Highway Adminstration, if significant load carrying elements are found to be in poor or worse condition due to deterioration and/or damage, the bridge has inadequate load capacity, or repeated bridge flooding causes traffic delays. The fact that a bridge is "structurally deficient" does not imply that it is unsafe or likely to collapse. A "structurally deficient" bridge, when left open to traffic, typically requires significant maintenance and repair to remain in service and eventual rehabilitation or replacement to address deficiencies. In order to remain in service, structurally deficient bridges are often posted with weight limits. "Functionally obsolete" refers to a bridge's inability to meet current standards for managing the volume of traffic it carries, not its structural integrity. For example, a bridge may be functionally obsolete if it has narrow lanes, no shoulders, or low clearances. Based upon data submitted to the FHWA in April 2008, about 12 percent of the highway bridges in New York State are classified, under the broad federal standards, as structurally deficient and about 25 percent are classified as functionally obsolete. Those classifications do not mean the bridges are unsafe, rather that they would require repairs or modifications to restore their condition or improve their functionality. Again, if a bridge is deemed unsafe, it is closed to traffic. These statistics help highlight bridges that should be considered for further review, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation or replacement.

Click here to load this Caspio Bridge DataPage.



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