GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A watchdog group analyzing inspection statistics says 402 bridges in Connecticut are “structurally deficient.”
That does not mean those bridges are going to fall down any time soon, but it does mean they need significant rehabilitation, according to Steve Davis with the group Transportation for America.[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/silverman_bridges1w_morn_130619.mp3″ size=”340px”
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“If you put all the structurally deficient bridges end to end from New York, you’d end up in Colorado somewhere. 1,500 miles long. One long trip on one bad bridge,” Davis told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
According to the group, the number of deficient bridges in Connecticut has grown by 16 in the last two years. 101 of the bridges are in Fairfield County alone.
WEB EXTRA: Check The Bridges Near You
The average bridge in Connecticut is 52 years old. Nationally, the state ranks 27th in terms of most deficient bridges, according to the group.
“Our bridges are going to keep getting older and we could potentially be passing a tipping point as the rate of repair has slowed,” Davis said.
Davis said the challenge has been finding the money for repairs, some of which had been covered by a federal program.
“Congress eliminated that last summer, took a bit of a gamble,” Davis said. The financial burden was shifted to state and local governments, he added.
A spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation told Silverman that all of the state’s bridges are safe and there is an aggressive program under way to repair bridges that need work done.
New York has more than 2,000 bridges with the structurally deficient label, according to the group, with 61 having been added in the last two years. The bridges named include part of the West Side Highway at 59th Street, which handles 100,000 cars per day.
New York ranked 17th on the list nationally, and New Jersey came in at 26th.
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