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Friday, August 03, 2007

What about Connecticut's bridges?

In Connecticut of all places, we should not have bridges in a state of disrepair.

Overall, Connecticut's bridges, many of which are pounded by daily interstate traffic far beyond the loads expected when they were built, are rated below the national average, according to a regional policy watchdog group.

While about 26 percent of bridges around the country are rated as deficient, nearly a third of Connecticut's are, the group said.

"The bridge collapse in Minneapolis serves as a tragic reminder that we must invest our transportation dollars in our existing infrastructure, and take infrastructure maintenance very seriously. said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which used 2005 statistics.

"Other countries invest much more in sustaining their roads, highways, bridges and transit systems — we should follow their lead," she said.

But compared to other states, Connecticut is in relatively good shape when it comes to bridges, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

The 2006 National Bridge Inventory, maintained by the FHA, listed 351 of 4,166 Connecticut bridges as being "structurally deficient" — 8.4 percent of the state's total. Eleven states have a lower percentage.

Typically, a structurally deficient bridge has weight restrictions, including a prohibition on heavy-truck traffic.

More in the Connecticut Post.

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