Local News

Study: Raleigh Bridges Rank Among Worst in State

Posted February 26, 2008 12:59 p.m. EST

— Two Raleigh bridges again rank among the top 20 on AAA Carolinas' list of 100 substandard bridges in North Carolina.

The 47-year-old Interstate 440 bridge over Hillsborough Street, which ranks fourth, carries approximately 588,000 vehicles a week, but it's not an immediate safety problem for motorists, AAA Carolinas said.

Neither is the Pullen Road bridge, classified as structurally deficient, which ranked No. 14 on the list.

The I-440 bridge is classified as functionally obsolete, because it carries a larger volume of traffic than for which it was designed. It is part of a lane-widening project to be posted in 2009.

Both bridges have made the list for the past several years.

The worst two bridges on the list, according to the study, at the intersection of Interstates 40 Business and 85 Business in Guilford County and the I-40 Business span over South Main Street in Forsyth County.

According to AAA Carolinas, North Carolina ranks high nationally in its number of substandard bridges at 31 percent. Only nine states ranked worse and two others ranked the same.

Last year, the state Department of Transportation spent $67 million on bridge and structure maintenance and replaced 99 bridges at the cost of $200 million.

The DOT estimates that $350 million would be needed to meet all maintenance and repair needs and $2.5 billion would be needed to replace all substandard bridges.

AAA Carolina said each bridge in the state is inspected every two years. If it is in need of urgent repair, corrective action begins as soon as possible.