TRIP urges caution on state of U.S. bridges

| 10/31/2006

A watchdog group that focuses on roads and bridges says more than one-fourth of the United States' bridges are either structurally deficient, or were built so long ago that their designs are obsolete.

Frank Moretti of The Road Information Program, or TRIP, told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio that the group is not saying that any of the bridges are dangerous.

Rather, Moretti said they could become a threat to the economy in the near future, if a large number of bridges were suddenly to need replacement due to their structural integrity.

"The danger is really an economic danger," Moretti said. "The bridges are inspected regularly, and if there was any reason to be concerned that they might collapse, those bridges would be closed or restricted to carrying lighter vehicles."

Moretti said there were quite a few bridge improvements made in the 1990s, but that now, the number of deficient bridges is again on the rise.

- By Reed Black, staff writer