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Friday, August 03, 2007

The Most Dangerous Bridge In North Carolina

With the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis, lots of people are talking about the dangerous infrastructure in their backyard.

WFDD did a story on this yesterday.  Guess where the most dangerous bridge in North Carolina is located?

Right here in downtown Winston-Salem, on the heavily travelled Business 40.  It's the portion of the highway that passes over Liberty Street. (Click image below for full scale)

Libertybridge_3

Happy commuting, y'all!

UPDATE:  Confirmed ...by this article in yesterday's W-S Journal:

If you want to find a structurally deficient bridge in North Carolina, just look in the Triad.

Hundreds of bridges in the Triad are considered structurally deficient, and five Triad counties are among the top 10 in the state for having such bridges.

A bridge is structurally deficient if it is in relatively poor condition or has insufficient load-carrying capacity, caused by either the original design or deterioration, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Two years ago, the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis was listed in a report as structurally deficient.

Forsyth County has 70 such bridges, the fourth worst county in the state, according to records kept by the bridge-maintenance unit of the DOT.

***

Every year, the AAA Carolinas auto club publishes a list of the 20 worst highway bridges in North Carolina. When the rankings are compared with other states, North Carolina’s bridges are the 11th worst in the country, said Tom Crosby, a spokesman for AAA.

No. 1 on AAA’s list of bad bridges is the one on Business 40 over Liberty Street in Winston-Salem. The bridge, which has topped AAA’s list for six years, is 52 years old and carries 476,000 vehicles a week. It isn’t scheduled to be replaced until 2013.

Four bridges on U. S. 52 also made the list. Three of those bridges will be replaced by 2013.

DOT and AAA officials say that neither the Liberty Street Bridge nor any of the others on the worst-bridge list, last published in February, poses an immediate danger.

But the Minnesota bridge collapse is a clear signal to the state that it needs to pay more attention to bridges, Crosby said.

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