Wisconsin bridge safety

CBS 58 reports on efforts to inspect and maintain more than 14,000 Wisconsin bridges


by Mike Strehlow

Milwaukee--Whenever there's a bridge failure like the one in Washington State, attention shifts to the state of America's bridges.

"It's definitely scary when you think about things like that,but you just assume that everything's going to be safe when you driving down the road," says Cindy Hagemann of Knoxville, Tennessee.

During their 650-mile RV trip from Knoxville to Milwaukee, the Hagemann family traveled through five states and crossed dozens of bridges.  John Hagemann says "You count on the bridges to be safe."

Their RV is parked about a block from one of 84 bridges in Milwaukee County considered structurally deficient.  The American Academy of Civil Engineers reports 8.2% percent of the state's 14,000 bridges fall into that category which means they're safe but have potholes, rusting trusses, or require weight limits.  Structurally deficient bridges are inspected once a year.  Inspectors look over other bridges every two years.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Pyritz says,"One of the things people can keep in mind is if there's a bridge we deem is unsafe, the bridge will not be open and we'll do what it takes to get the bridge functioning or replaced."






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