DOT reassures: NC bridges are safe
Posted May 24, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Despite an inspection program that requires each of North Carolina's 13,500 state-owned bridges to be reviewed every two years, more than half are outdated, according to data from the Department of Transportation.
That does not necessarily mean the bridges are unsafe. Bridges classified as "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete" may simply be carrying more traffic than they were originally designed for.
The DOT spends $12 million spent annually on bridge inspections – reviewing bridge decks, joints, support beams and footings.
The oldest bridge still in use in the Tar Heel State, according to data gathered in July 2011, crosses the West Fork of the Pigeon River in Haywood County. It was built in 1891.
In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Friday in three counties around a collapsed Interstate 5 bridge.
Inslee said in his proclamation Friday that the bridge collapse has caused extensive disruption, impacting the citizens and economy in Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties.
The governor is instructing the emergency management division of the Washington State Military Department to coordinate all assistance to the affected areas.
Inslee says state agencies should do everything reasonably possible to assist the local areas in responding and recovering from the event.