NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- August 1 marked the fifth anniversary of the I-35W Bridge collapse in Minneapolis, which killed 13 people and injured 145 others. Was it a wakeup call to the government about preventing future bridge disasters?
When the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued its report after more than a year of study, it concluded the bridge collapse was a one-time occurrence, caused by a design error undetected during construction. Barry LePatner, creator of a new web site, www.saveourbridges.com, says the 1-35 Bridge collapse was no "one-off" event; in fact, government officials knew for years there were structural flaws.
“Federal and state governments are hiding the true state of disrepair of America’s infrastructure,” said LePatner in a release marking the five-year anniversary of the I-35 disaster. His website's interactive map allows drivers to see if any of the 7,980 U.S. bridges that are both "fracture critical and structurally deficient" are bridges that they drive over.
Transportation for America, a coalition of organizations dedicated to transportation policy, maintains a database of the U.S. cities with the highest percentage of most deficient bridges (based on data updated bi-annually).
According to the organization, nearly 70,000 bridges nationwide are rated “structurally deficient.” The Federal Highway Administration says it will cost over $70 billion to eliminate potentially dangerous bridges.
Check out the interactive map on savingourbridges.com and read on for the 10 largest metropolitan areas (over 2 million people) with the highest percentage of deficient bridges, according to Transportation for America research.
10. New York, NY
The Big Apple is the largest city in America by population and when so many people are moving across the metropolitan area’s bridges each day, it might be reasonable to assume they would be a little worse for the wear. Ranked 10th by the percentage of bridges deficient at 9.8%, it’s estimated that over 17 million people drive over the 778 questionable bridges each day, or 203 drivers each and every second.