ATLANTA - The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released the 2015 National Bridge Inventory list.
Nearly 59,000 bridges are considered "structurally deficient," but how does Georgia rank?
Chances are, you either drive under or over a bridge on your way into work each morning. In Georgia, 5 percent of all bridges fall into this "structurally deficient" category. That's better than the national average of 9.5 percent.
Every year, the state bridge maintenance engineers work to inspect and rate each of the nearly 15,000 bridges in Georgia. A "structurally deficient" rating means something on the bridge needs attention, whether that be something minor or major.
With the help of the state Transportation Funding Act, the DOT will nearly double the funding to work on the 729 bridges that need improvement. In the next 18 months, they plan to replace 118 bridges and repair more than 300.
The DOT says they take bridge safety very seriously. "What I love about their job is how seriously they take it and they sort of approach it with the mentality of 'would I put my family over this bridge' and if that answer is ever no, we close that bridge immediately," says DOT's Natalie Dale. "Georgia's really in a good position to address a lot of these bridges right now and in the years to come while other states will continue to struggle."
The federal list organizes bridges by the most traveled. The top five most traveled, "structurally deficient" bridges in Georgia are:
- Fulton -- I-285 over South Utoy Creek
- Cobb -- I-75 over Clark Creek (northbound)
- Coweta -- I-85 over Transco Gas Lines (northbound and southbound)
- Bibb -- US-41/SR-49 over Rocky Creek (southbound)
- DeKalb -- Ponce de Leon over Lullwater Creek