Map: Where are the most dangerous bridges in Minnesota?


A new map identifies where the most dangerous road bridges are in the United States – and fortunately not many of them are in Minnesota.

The Washington Post used federal data to create a map highlighting where bridges considered "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete" are located across the country.

Just under 24 percent of bridges nationally need repairs or replacing because they are considered deficient as defined by the Federal Highway Administation.

But only 9.2 percent of bridges in Minnesota are in need of improving (compared to just under 21 percent in Iowa and 20 percent in South Dakota).

The FHA data shows that of 12,961 bridges in Minnesota, 830 are considered "structurally deficient" while 363 are "functionally obsolete" – which is used to describe outdated bridges that weren't built to handle the larger, heavier vehicles used today.

Northeast MN has most deficiencies

Taking a closer look at the Post's map, the majority of Minnesota's deficient bridges are concentrated in the northeast of the state, close to the Canadian border. There seem to be fewer issues with metro area bridges.

Aspire Bridge explains that a bridge is defined as "deficient" when an engineer determines it is in need of maintenance, rehabilitation or complete replacement. So a bridge can range from being broadly safe and just requiring a minor touch-up, to needing full-scale reconstruction.

ABC News notes the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, which collapsed in 2007 – killing 13 people – was deemed "structurally deficient" at the time of the tragedy, saying it required maintenance, but was not deemed unsafe enough to close.

In total, the data shows that 1,193 of Minnesota's bridges are deficient or obsolete, which is a slight increase from the 1,191 identified in Transportation for America survey in 2013.

Governor Mark Dayton recently revealed a 6.5 percent tax hike on wholesale gasoline that is designed to fund an $11 billion transportation program over the next 10 years to fix the state's most decrepit roads and bridges.

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