Spans Of Fear: In Wake Of Bridge Collapse, ‘Structurally Deficie - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spans Of Fear: In Wake Of Bridge Collapse, ‘Structurally Deficient’ Bridges In Spotlight

Posted: Updated:

NBCNEWS.COM - The Washington state bridge collapse that spilled two cars into the Skagit River could give Americans pause as they hit the roads for Memorial Day holiday travel.

With good reason.

This weekend, millions will cross 66,000 bridges that the federal government has deemed "structurally deficient," meaning key elements are in poor condition.

The Federal Highway Administration hastens to note that label doesn't mean they are unsafe or in danger of collapse, but transportation advocates say it highlights a growing crisis of aging infrastructure, deferred maintenance and rebuilding, and design flaws.

"We don't expect an epidemic of collapses — that's the extreme," said Dan Goldberg, communications director for Transportation for America, a coalition that identified the busiest deficient bridges in the nation in a 2011 report.

"We are going to see probably some more of this, but the more likely scenario is contending with the issues of decay that happen before the collapse."

Big potholes, weight restrictions and lane closings are some of the inconveniences bridge users face unless reconstruction and replacement is ramped up across the nation, Goldberg said.

The Interstate 5 bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., which apparently crumpled after being hit by an oversized truck, was not on the Federal Highway Administration's structurally-deficient list.

Famed spans aren't the problem. San Francisco's Golden Gate, for instance, is in pretty good shape. The Brooklyn Bridge is undergoing a massive rehabilitation project to correct its deficiencies.

But hundreds of less glamorous bridges — many of them generic overpasses that take commuters over cross streets or other highways — remain vulnerable.

Here are six crossings, together used by more than 1 million vehicles each day, that don't make the grade:

I-76 over Klemm Ave. in Gloucester, N.J.: The deck and superstructure are in poor condition on this 11-lane interstate overpass that dates to 1956. More than 191,000 vehicles use it every day, and $30 million has been earmarked for deck replacement.

IS-695 over Milford Mill Road in Baltimore, Md.Built in 1961 and reconstructed in 1979, this eight-lane overpass on the Baltimore Beltway has a deck and substructure in poor condition. But good news for nearly 190,000 vehicles that cross each day: It will be replaced in a two-year project starting this summer.

Halona St. Bridge in Honolulu, Hawaii: Built in 1938, this slab bridge over the Kapalama Canal is not slated for replacement until 2019. Some 184,000 vehicles travel the two-lane crossing, which has a deck and substructure in poor condition.

I-70 over Havana St. in Denver, Colo.: This 10-lane structure, which has a deck and substructure in poor condition, is slated for a rebuild in the next few years. Built in 1964 and reconstructed in 1978, it services 183,000 vehicles a day.

I-278 approach to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island, N.Y.: On an average day, 182,700 vehicles take this overpass to a majestic double-decker bridge. The substructure of the two-lane approach, built in 1961, is in poor condition.

I-95 over Hendricks Ave. in Jacksonville, Fla.: The deck is in poor condition on this nine-lane section of interstate that handles 121,000 vehicles a day. Built in 1959 and reconstructed in 1989, it is undergoing a replacement.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Manhunt over in Peone Prairie: Deputies confident there was only 1 suspect

    Manhunt over in Peone Prairie: Deputies confident there was only 1 suspect

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:12:41 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriffs Deputies have stopped looking for a 2nd suspect as they believe the man they caught Wednesday night was the sole burglar. According to Deputy Mark Gregory, deputies searched into the night for the supposed 2nd burglar, but are confident this morning that there was only 1 suspect.>>
    UPDATE: SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriffs Deputies have stopped looking for a 2nd suspect in a burglary that happened Wednesday evening in Peone Prairie. Deputies believe the man they caught Wednesday was the sole burglar. According to Deputy Mark Gregory, deputies searched into the night for the supposed 2nd burglar, but are confident this morning that there was only one suspect involved.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • WILDFIRE ALERT: Neighbors tackle brush fire with shovels; can't get it out

    WILDFIRE ALERT: Neighbors tackle brush fire with shovels; can't get it out

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:02 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:02:00 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Wednesday afternoon a brush fire broke out south of Spokane off Highway 195, near W Smythe and N Maple road. The fire is burning in a residential area and neighbors we talked to say they are very worried about their homes. It's not clear how the fire started, but when nearby homeowners saw smoke they ran out with shovels to try and stamp it out.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Wednesday afternoon a brush fire broke out south of Spokane off Highway 195, near W Smythe and N Maple road. The fire is burning in a residential area and neighbors we talked to say they are very worried about their homes. It's not clear how the fire started, but when nearby homeowners saw smoke they ran out with shovels to try and stamp it out.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Manhunt over in Peone Prairie: Deputies confident there was only 1 suspect

    Manhunt over in Peone Prairie: Deputies confident there was only 1 suspect

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:12:41 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriffs Deputies have stopped looking for a 2nd suspect as they believe the man they caught Wednesday night was the sole burglar. According to Deputy Mark Gregory, deputies searched into the night for the supposed 2nd burglar, but are confident this morning that there was only 1 suspect.>>
    UPDATE: SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriffs Deputies have stopped looking for a 2nd suspect in a burglary that happened Wednesday evening in Peone Prairie. Deputies believe the man they caught Wednesday was the sole burglar. According to Deputy Mark Gregory, deputies searched into the night for the supposed 2nd burglar, but are confident this morning that there was only one suspect involved.>>
  • IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: KHQ special, 'Beyond the Fire Lines' airs again on SWX

    IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: KHQ special, 'Beyond the Fire Lines' airs again on SWX

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:27:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Since the devastation of the Carlton Complex fire, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines, all that and more inside "Beyond the Fire Lines.">>
    KHQ.COM - Since the devastation of the Carlton Complex fire, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines, all that and more inside "Beyond the Fire Lines."
    >>
  • Green Bluff grass fire: 3 buildings destroyed at Walker's Farm

    Green Bluff grass fire: 3 buildings destroyed at Walker's Farm

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:55:05 GMT
    GREEN BLUFF, Wash.- A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Green Bluff was 100% contained by 6pm. The fire started on property owned by Walker's Farm. Fire crews were called out to the farm about 2:30pm.
    >>
    GREEN BLUFF, Wash.- A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Green Bluff was 100% contained by 6pm. The fire started on property owned by Walker's Farm. Fire crews were called out to the farm about 2:30pm.

    >>