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29-percent of Louisiana bridges are deficient
Posted on 2/26/2015 12:41:00 PM.
2014 Federal Highway Administration data shows that 29-percent of Louisiana's nearly 13,000 bridges are deficient.  That's the 14th highest percentage in the United States.  

Louisiana DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallett says motorists should not take this description of bridges in Louisiana too literally.
"'Structurally deficient' or 'deficient' or 'functionally obsolete' are unfortunate terms used by engineers to describe the need of repair for certain bridges, but it doesn't mean that it's unsafe."

He says DOTD is working to replace and repair as many bridges as they can.  Mallett says most bridges are on an inspection schedule of once every two years, with some on a six month schedule.  He says there are 81 bridge inspectors throughout the state.

"As they go out, if they determine that there need to be any repairs, then we have a maintenance group that will go out and repair and replace bridges as needed."

Mallett says, since 2008, DOTD has spent $1.3 billion to replace or repair 467 bridges across the state.  He says motorists should not think that that they can't safely cross bridges in Louisiana.

"If a bridge is unsafe, then we will close that bridge and we've done that in the past."
Louisiana, Department of Transportation, Rodney Mallett, bridges

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