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Transportation Group Finds Many Bay Area Bridges Structurally Deficient

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The types of bridges needing repair as cited by the study. (Transportation for America)

The types of bridges needing repair as cited by the study. (Transportation for America)

DougSovern20100908_KCBS_0208r Doug Sovern
Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new report has found that many of the Bay Area’s bridges are in dire need of repair and there isn’t enough money available to fix them.

The study by Transportation for America, a coalition of groups that want Congress to spend more money on infrastructure, found that almost 21 percent of Bay Area bridges need an overhaul, the second worst rate of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Shannon Tracey with Transportation for America said that on its own, the Silicon Valley area is just as bad, with a deficiency rate of 18.7 percent.

“For metro areas between 1 and 2 million people, the San Jose region is second,” she said. Only Oklahoma City ranked ahead of San Jose.

Tracey said that cars are crossing these bridges more than 15 million times a day and those spans are getting older and creakier.

“While folks should feel comfortable while driving over these bridges, they should also feel concerned that we’re not making as much progress as we should in correcting this backlog of deficient bridges,” Tracey said.

In total, the report found that 380 bridges in the Bay Area could be deemed deficient. Transportation for America rates brides as structurally deficient if they are in need of more frequent monitoring and critical, near-term maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement.

Tracey said that there’s simply not enough money to fix all the problems and that Congress needs to appropriate more for bridge repair in the next transportation bill. She also said that legislators should consider raising the gas tax for the first time in years or find some other source of new revenue.

The report did not name specific structures with deficiencies.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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