St. Louis Public Radio News
4:32 pm
Mon July 28, 2003

MO-DOT Says 23% of Bridges are 'Structurally Deficient'

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Department of Transportation says 23% of Missouri bridges are structurally deficient. Officials say the bridges need restricted weight limits, immediate fixes or to simply be closed.

The number is down in recent years, but a lack of funds has prevented the state from doing enough maintenance to get ahead.

The average age of Missouri's bridges is 46 years old; many are designed with an average design life of 50 years.

About 1,000 of the state's more than 23,000 bridges are older than a century.

Officials add the bridges aren't in danger of collapsing; they just need special attention. Mo-DOT spokesman Jeff Briggs says the state would close bridges if they were considered unsafe.