INGHAM COUNTY, MI (WLNS) - A quarter of the bridges around the state are in need of major repairs and updates. Over a hundred of them are right here in Ingham County.
Bridges like the one on Okemos road are reviewed every two years by MDOT. This particular bridge has been given a rating of 5, deeming it structurally deficient.
“There are bridges where chunks of concrete are falling off them, hitting cars below, landing on the road below, causing an accident in a sense that somebody hits that piece of concrete. It's definitely going to do damage to their car. think about how many bridges you go over on a daily basis. One in eight bridges are structurally deficient that causes me to be a little uneasy and I understand the whole deal,” said Mike Nystrom, Executive VP, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
However, just because a bridge is deemed structurally deficient, doesn't mean that drivers of regular vehicles should be worried about their everyday safety.
“If the bridge is deteriorating to the point where they can only carry reduced loads, it is posted. And that is looked at frequently more so as the bridge deteriorates further. So there are professional bridge inspectors keeping their eyes on those bridges for the safety of the public,” said Bill Conklin, Managing Director, Ingham County Road Commission.
So it all comes down to funding.
“We would at least like to see an increase in the funding so we could at least do the worst bridges that most need the attention,” said Conklin.
The Ingham County Road Commission applies for state and federal funding to fix bridges each year. However they are limited to five applications each time, making it difficult to fix all the bridges at once. By Sharon Yoo, 6 News Intern