1,800 Bridges In LA Structurally Deficient
If there is one thing Louisiana roads have a lot of it's bridges. Since a lot of our roadways must pass through low lying areas, a lifted road bed is best the solution. However, that solution is fast becoming a liability according to the United States Public Interest Research Group. That watchdog organization has issued a report based on federal highway data that suggests Louisiana drivers are driving over 1,837 structurally deficient bridges everyday.
The data that was gathered from federal reports over the year 2014 is quite a sobering statistic. To think that the very road beneath our wheels could give way is very unsettling. Department of Transportation and Development spokes person Rodney Mallet does offer a bit of consolation. He says "structurally deficient" does not mean unsafe.
"It does not mean it's unsafe. It's a way to kind of grade bridges on how they're going to get funding for repairs."
The designation of structurally deficient simply means that at least one aspect of the bridge in question needs to be repaired or replaced.Here are the ten most traveled over structurally deficient bridges in the state. The state has made bridge safety and inspection a priority over the past few years however, budget issues have prevented only the most serious projects from being funded in a timely manner.
"Since 2008, we have invested over $1.3 billion and that's resulted in over 470 bridge repair and replacement projects."
Currently the state is looking at a 12 billion dollar backlog of work in maintenance for roads and bridges. When you consider the kind of budget issues the state is facing it does not appear that a solution is anywhere close at hand.For the DOTD and Mallet, who spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network, all of these issues come down to one thing, money.
"We have plans, we have projects, we have designs for many different projects across the state and as we get funding for those, we will address those."