1 in 10 Michigan Bridges Rated Structurally Deficient
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - You may have heard the phrase a bridge over troubled water, and in this case it's Michigan bridges that are troubled.
"We have about twelve percent of all our bridges considered structurally deficient, in Ingham County, we're at sixteen percent of our bridges that are structurally deficient," said Lance Binoniemi, the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
According to Transportation for America, there are a total of 236 bridges in Ingham County, 38 of those are structurally deficient.
"That can mean a variety of things, but when they get to that position where they're rated structurally deficient, there's a problem," said Binoniemi.
Kari Arend, the spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Transportation defines the term, "It simply means a lot of times that the bridge is outdated, needs to be updated, possibly replaced to newer standards. So it's not necessarily that the bridges are unsafe, we do inspect the bridges on a regular basis."
Some bridges are being looked at more than others.
"Bridges are built to last about fifty years and the average bridge age in Michigan is sixty eight years old," said Binoniemi.
"With the bridges like this year on 496, a lot of those are just spot repairs that we're doing, patches on the bridge deck, some painting, that will keep those bridges in good condition," said Arend.
"In Michigan we have some of the harshest weather conditions for roads because of our freeze thaw cycles, that we have to constantly update and rate those bridges and our roads.We have been inadequate for several years and our infrastructure is suffering because of it," said Binoniemi.
MDOT would like to remind us that the roads and bridges are safe to drive on, and that they will close them before there are any safety concerns.