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Last updated 7:52PM ET
March 6, 2021
2,100 of 16,000 Alabama Bridges Deficient
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - About 2,100 of Alabama's nearly 16,000 highway bridges are classified by the Federal Highway Administration as being structurally deficient, the same ranking given the bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River in Minnesota.

A federal database showed Thursday that of 15,879 bridges in Alabama, a total of 2,102, or 13 percent, were considered to have structural problems and did not meet all federal standards as of December 2006. Federal officials said such bridges were not considered to be an imminent danger to motorists, but they need maintenance attention or replacement.

The largest number of problem bridges 276 were built between 1937 and 1941, statistics show. But another 40 were constructed since 1992, meaning they are relatively young.

State highway officials did not immediately respond to e-mail messages and phone calls seeking comment.

Transportation Director Joe McInnes told The Birmingham News he met with bridge inspectors after the Minnesota collapse, but there was little that could be done in Alabama until the cause of the disaster was determined.

"There is no need for the traveling public to be concerned about bridges in Alabama," McInnes said.

Federal statistics also show that 2,205 Alabama bridges were considered functionally obsolete, meaning they are too small for the number and types of vehicles they carry or might flood occasionally. Of those, 48 were built since 1992 and the largest number 315 were constructed between 1957 and 1961.

The Washington-based Government Performance Project, which is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and analyzes public management, in 2005 said Alabama's roads and bridges were in "alarming" shape, with a maintenance backlog of $1.6 billion that gets worse by about $50 million worth of work annually.
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