Transportation Department: 253 Bridges In Idaho Are Obsolete Or Structurally Deficient

Press Release From Idaho Transportation Department:

There are 253 bridges throughout the state of Idaho that are classified as either obsolete or structurally deficient. Bridges are not classified by region, so it's difficult to say how many are in North Idaho.

At this time, there is no immediate danger to travelers in Idaho; however, the bridges are advancing in years so we have to be especially vigilant.

There is only one bridge similar in design to the one in yesterday's collapse in western Washington, and that bridge is in the eastern part of Idaho.There are no bridges in Idaho with the exact same design as the one in yesterday's collapse.

Idaho bridges are inspected every two years. If there are any serious and potentially dangerous issues, that bridge will be closed immediately for repairs. Again, there is nothing in Idaho at this time that is closed for repairs or deemed particularly dangerous to the public.

Typical problems that arise include a need for resurfacing or repairing a bridge's deck or guard rail. Sometimes bridge caps or footing also need to be repaired. IDT has dive teams solely to inspect bridge footings to ensure they are safe for travelers, but often times what we see are just minor issues.

It doesn't appear yesterday's bridge collapse was related to the structure and safety of the bridge. Any bridge hit in the wrong spot by a heavy truck at a fast moving pace would suffer similar consequences.

We are relieved and happy no one was hurt as this incident could've been much worse. In Idaho, and elsewhere throughout the U.S., infrastructures are aging, and fixing problems will require increasing resources.

Travelers may always call IDT with questions. In fact, we welcome anytime a traveler sees something concerning on a bridge, or even a highway, and lets us know.

IDT will do everything possible to fix the problem. The public remains our eyes and ears out on roads.

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