Are Bridges In Texas Safe? - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Are Bridges In Texas Safe?

AUSTIN, TX (KXXV) -

No state in the country has more bridges than Texas, and most of them are in good or better condition.  The group "Transportation for America" says only Florida and Nevada have bridges that overall are in better condition than Texas.

The Texas Department of Transportation reached a goal in 2012 of having at least 80 percent of the state's bridges meet that "good or better" guideline.

Texas has 52,227 bridges - nine percent of the nation's inventory - and significantly more than Ohio, which is next on the list with 30,000.  Two-thirds of the bridges in the Lone Star State are on state of federal highways, and those are the safest.

In the Waco District for TxDot, which encompasses Central Texas, more than 88 percent of the 1664 bridges controlled by the federal or state government are "good or better".  Only 25 are structurally deficient, 155 are functionally obsolete and 12 are substandard for loads.

The percentages drop significantly for bridges on county or city roads.  There are 1031 of those in the Waco District, and 60.4 percent of them grade good or better.  But there are 138 that are structurally deficient, and another 174 that are obsolete.  A big reason for the change in numbers is funding.

TxDot says two local counties are among the ten worst in the state for structurally deficient bridges. 

More than 19 percent of them in Limestone County are in that category and are supposed to be inspected at least once a year.  That's the second worst number in the state, behind only Fisher County.  

Falls County is fifth worst in Texas with 16.7 percent.  It has 53 bridges in that deficient category. 

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