Thursday, February 2, 2023

MIDDAY UDPATE: Mich. bridges to be re-evaluated Friday

August 2, 2007

Michigan motorists shouldn't second guess crossing over any of the state's bridges, experts say.

The Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed Wednesday in Minnesota was named "structurally deficient" two years ago. Michigan has a higher percentage of "structurally deficient" bridges - ranking as the 10th-highest percentage compared to Minnesota's 36th ranking, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

"Structurally deficient" does not mean a bridge is unsafe, said Kari Arend, spokeswoman for Michigan Department of Transportation, or MDOT.

"Generally, some kind of small repair is needed for that bridge," she said.

Currently, Michigan has four bridges - all located in northern Michigan - that are similar in structure to the bridge in Minneapolis, Arend said. Three are vehicular and one is pedestrian.

When states name bridges safe or unsafe, a comprehensive look is used to consider the entire bridge, down to the guard rails.

"They've all been recently inspected," she said. "And we are going out to reinspect them starting tomorrow."

For more on this story, please see Friday's edition of The State News.

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