Quantcast

America's bridges are decaying - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

America's bridges are decaying

Posted: Updated:

Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows only 38% percent of American roads are in good condition and 1 out of every 10 bridges are "structurally deficient." The numbers in our state aren't much better, but officials are trying to change that.

The Department of Transportation Division II office says over the next 10 years, we will replace 32 bridges in Pitt County. The first 22 will be completed in the next 3 years.

9 On Your Side wanted to know how a bridge is rated and prioritized for repair. So we followed around bridge inspectors to get answers.

Every two years inspectors are required to evaluate bridge conditions. On Wednesday, they checked out a bridge on Old Creek Road in Greenville. 

"Our primary responsibility in a bridge inspection is to ensure the safety of the bridge." Billy Littleton, an inspector of 29 years, said.

The process starts by taking pictures--- a bridge's appearance can tell you a lot about its condition. The photo session is then followed by a hands-on assessment.

"We look at all the elements to find any deterioration that may affect the load carrying capabilities of this bridge." Littleton said.

Upon the completion of their inspection, the crew rated the 38-year-old timber bridge in fair condition, which DOT says should last another 12 years.

"Historically there hasn't been enough money to keep up with the replacements of all the bridges. I mean that's why what we do is really important."

This year the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United States a "D+" for overall infrastructure. They conducted a comprehensive review that included the nation's roads, bridges and waterways. 

In comparison, the organization gave North Carolina a "C." They suggest the state increase spending by $281 million a year to reduce the backlog of old bridges overdue for replacement.

"I don't think they are over exaggerating, I mean there are structures that need more work but we make sure they are up to par." Jeff Odom, Area "C" Bridge Inspection Supervisor said.

"Over the next 4 years we anticipate in state funds to get alone, $28.6 million and then federally we're probably looking at over $11 million." Maria Rogerson, Division II Bridge Program Manager said.

Rogerson told 9 On Your Side there is adequate funding now, but says there wasn't before 2011. Many of today's bridges were built during the Eisenhower- era, which also means that many of them are due for replacement.

So if money is pulled away from these projects, it could cause some serious issues.

9 On Your Side has compiled a list of bridges labeled as "structurally deficient" and/or "functionally obsolete.

  • A bridge is Structurally Deficient if it is in relatively poor condition, or has insufficient load-carrying capacity. The insufficient load capacity could be due to the original design or to deterioration.
  • A bridge is considered Functionally Obsolete  if it is narrow, has inadequate under-clearances, has insufficient load-carrying capacity, is poorly aligned with the roadway, and can no longer adequately service today's traffic.

 

  • Most Recent SlideshowsMore>>

  • A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:33:30 GMT
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
  • Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:02:20 GMT
    Southern California is seeing the kind of epic surf usually associated with Hawaii or Tahiti. Beaches are thronged with wave riders and crowds are coming to watch the action even as seaside communities try to stave...
    High surf generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific rolled onto Southern California beaches again Thursday, showing signs of diminishing but still bringing warnings of possible property damage and dangerous...
  • Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:09:08 GMT
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the...
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history...
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.