Three Triangle bridges among those rated 'substandard' by AAA
Posted July 18, 2014
Updated August 6, 2014
The organization’s annual list of bridges that are graded structurally deficient or functionally obsolete includes:
- The Instate 440 bridge over State Road 3007 in Raleigh, functionally obsolete, ranked No. 6
- The U.S. 15/501 bridge over State Road 1308 in Durham County, structurally deficient, ranked No. 11
- The U.S. Highway 401 bridge over Atlantic Avenue in Raleigh, structurally deficient, ranked No. 16.
A “structurally deficient” bridge along N.C. Highway 24/210 in Cumberland County also made the list at No. 14.
Structurally deficient means the bridge is in poor physical condition and has weight restrictions. Functionally obsolete means the bridge was inadequately design for its volume of traffic.
"While we've seen slight improvements in North Carolina's bridges in the last year, we still have a long way to go," Dave E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas, said in a statement. "We need to find more resources to fund our state's transportation infrastructure needs."
While North Carolina has spent nearly $500 million in state and federal funds to replace and repair bridges last year, it still has about 5,100 bridges rated as substandard. The average age of those bridges is 51.
Many of the bridges on the list, including the one in Durham, are scheduled for replacement. But there are no plans to replace 11 of them, including the two in Wake County.
AAA compiles the list in an effort to alert drivers and raise awareness for the need for funding. The state legislature has approved the use of about $800 million in state maintenance funds, which come from gasoline taxes, to improve bridges. The money is being spent over four years, starting in 2011.
"We're seeing the positive results of our increased investment, which in the first three years is enabling us to upgrade about 1,000 more substandard bridges," state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said in the statement released by AAA. "This is a good step forward, and with additional revenue, we could repair and replace even more of our deficient bridges to ensure motorist safety and better connect people to jobs, education, health care and recreation."