GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been almost 7 years since the truss bridge collapse that killed 13 and injured more than 100 people in Minnesota. That accident started a huge effort to repair our country’s outdated infrastructure. 22News talked to Franklin County drivers who cross some of the state’s oldest bridges.
Pennsylvania is the #1 state with the most deficient bridges with more than 5 thousand in need of repair. And in Massachusetts there are more than 4 hundred deficient bridges, and that has some drivers worried.
James Hagler crosses state bridges every day, and has concerns about their condition. “I never used to be nervous driving over bridges, I used to love driving over bridges, like to look over, especially the water, but now driving over them it makes me kiind of nervous.”
According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association there are more than 250 million daily crossings on more than 63 thousand U.S. structurally deficient bridges.And out of the 5,100 bridges in Massachusetts, almost 500 are structurally deficient.
Majority of the bridges in need of repair are more than 50 years old. And extreme weather conditions like hurricanes and tornadoes play a major role in the infrastructure’s quick deterioration.
For example, the Jacksonville Road bridge in Colrain needs a full replacement after Hurricane Irene. Visible cracks and rotted metal have a lot of drivers concerned about their safety.
Charles Kimplin told 22News the bridges are in desperate need of repair. “Yeah they do need a lot of repair. I see a lot of them that have holes in them and cracks. A lot of them you know you don’t want to keep going over it because you don’t know when it’s gonna collapse or not.”
There are more than 2 thousand bridges in the state that do not meet current design standards.
D.C has the fewest structurally deficient bridges in the country, with only 21 in need of major repairs.