LA PORTE — The state known as the “Crossroads of America” is among the nation’s top places for bridges that need some attention.
Thousands of Hoosier bridges are being questioned for their safety.
A just-released report says eight percent of Indiana bridges are structurally deficient. The annual report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association used data compiled by the federal Department of Transportation.
Indiana is listed as the 13th state for the total number of deficient bridges.
According to the report, seven percent of St. Joseph County bridges and 10 percent of La Porte County bridges are called structurally deficient. Experts say this does not mean the bridge is unsafe.
“The term structurally deficient is misleading,” says Doug Moats, spokesperson with INDOT Northwest District.
The term means the specific bridge isn’t up to today’s standard — whether that’s a guardrail missing or a needed upgrade to pavement. Indiana Department of Transportation says bridges that get this classification must be monitored, inspected and maintained a little more closely.
INDOT says bridges are usually inspected every year.
“We have bridge inspectors that go out and test the load bearing weight of the bridge,” Moats says. “All of our bridges are deemed are actually classified as being safe. If any of our bridges were unsafe we would close them immediately. We wouldn’t allow any public to drive on those bridges.”
Most of the bridges on the list were in Marion and Lake counties. They are some of the most-traveled bridges in the state.
See the full report here: http://www.artba.org/deficient-bridge-report-home/