Bridge Concerns in the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Bridge Concerns in the Panhandle

Several bridges across our area are being scheduled for demolition and re-construction... A year after the Minnesota bridge collapse caused more eyes to turn to our roadways.

This 24th street bridge on 287 and bridge 2219 just south of McCormick on this same highway are the main priorities for upgrades.

But they are not the only ones needing an overhaul.

Paul Braun with TxDOT says,"We have several functionally obsolete bridges, we have structurally deficient bridges its how structurally deficient is the thing."

Braun says don't let the terms fool you... The bridges are still safe for drivers.

"They have bridges that are called structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. But just because a bridge is rated structurally deficient... That doesn't mean it is going to collapse and fall. It is just a funding mechanism the federal highway has to determine which bridges get what funding when."

Funding for these two bridges is in. Construction will start on bridge 2219 in early 2009..

But orange cones will be out on the 24th street bridge much sooner.

"That bridge will probably start construction on that right after Labor Day." Braun says.

This bridge will cost more than a million dollars to replace.. and it's just one on a laundry list for the upcoming years.

"We do have some that are coming up, we have several around the panhandle that are coming up over the next two years to be put out for bid. Most noticeably we have the three bridges that are on US-83 between Canadian and Perryton. Those need to be replaced." Braun says.

Braun says these breaking down bridges are being inspected regularly and drivers shouldn't be concerned for their families safety.

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