The deadly collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis has many people wondering about the safety of bridges in Iowa. Iowa Department of Transportation spokesperson Dena-Gray Fisher says there are some 25,000 bridges in the state — with a portion of them on state highways. Gray-Fisher says the D.O.T. is responsible for 4,000 bridges and inspects them every two years.
Gray-Fisher says the D.O.T has a plan in place based on whatever is found in the inspections. She says if there is any indication of suspected problems, those are taken care of right away. Gray-Fisher says bridges are classified based on their deficiencies and the corrective measures that must be taken. "Structurally deficient" is a term being used in the collapse of the Minnesota bridge.
Gray-Fisher says structurally deficient means there is some sort kind of deterioration in the structural components of the bridge. She says it does not man the bridge is necessarily unsafe, but does mean some sort of corrective action needs to be taken. Gray-Fisher says "corrective action" could be reducing the speed limit on the bridge, limiting its weight capacity or deck repair. Each city and county has their own procedures for inspecting the bridges under their jurisdiction.