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Study declares 12.8% of California bridges 'structurally deficient'

March 30, 2011 | 11:04 am

The nation’s bridges need some support.

One in every nine bridges across the country -- or 11.5% -- were deemed potentially hazardous and “structurally deficient,” according to a study released Wednesday morning by the organization Transportation For America.

California ranked 18th in the report’s list of state rankings with 12.8% its bridges deemed structurally deficient. Pennsylvania ranked worst with 26.5%.

 “A structurally deficient bridge is not an unsafe bridge, but it is a warning sign,” said James Corless, director of Transportation For America.

Corless said the country was in the “middle of a very big and very important debate about the nation’s infrastructure” and said “we all know America’s infrastructure is decidedly middle aged.”

There are about 600,000 bridges nationally and more than 24,500 in California. The report targeted the 10 Freeway bridge across Normandie Avenue as one of California’s busiest structurally deficient bridges. About 321,000 vehicles cross that bridge each day.

The report also ranked the 100 counties with the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Nemaha County in Nebraska topped the list with 120 out of 194 bridges rated structurally deficient. San Francisco County was the only one in California to make the list with 40 of 116 bridges, or 34.5%, as structurally deficient.


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Photo: Los Angeles officials have talked about replacing the 6th Street bridge over the L.A. River. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times