Houston County Bridge Safety Inspection

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

It has almost been one year since the fatal collapse of the I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis.

Since then, many engineers across the county have been inspecting their bridges more closely.

"Bridges across the nation are in bad shape. I think it's around 80 percent that are in bad shape. There hasn't been any new funding. Even after all those people died, there hasn't been any new funding," says Houston County Engineer Mark Pool.

The Minneapolis bridge was considered a "fracture critical bridge" that had a faulty "steel deck truss".

Houston County has no fracture critical bridges, nor any that are made with a "steel deck truss."

However, of the 200 bridges in Houston County, four bridges cannot withstand the weight of a school bus.

Three of those bridges have bids open for construction within the next few months.

The fourth bridge will be rebuilt next spring.

"We had closed a bridge in Wicksburg because I was concerned about it. We closed it just a few months early. We had it set up to be rebuilt, but closed it a few months early. I always take the safety angle. I always lean toward the safety side," says Pool.

The state of Alabama gives each county $500,000 dollars a year to maintain county roads and bridges.

Houston County leaders use the total amount on upgrading bridges, making it safe for you to get from one side to the other.

Houston County has rebuilt 50 bridges in 13 years.

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