Report: More than 10 percent of state bridges structurally defic - WNEM TV 5

Report: More than 10 percent of state bridges structurally deficient

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump highlighted his plan to rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

Now we're getting a picture of just how bad the situation is.

A new report details the condition of Michigan's more than 11,000 bridges and many are in bad shape. Some of them are right in Mid-Michigan.

"It has everything to do with what your city looks like. It has everything to do with how people feel if they're comfortable going around there. And we definitely need some infrastructure improvements in this area, absolutely," one Flint resident said.

There are about $9.2 billion worth of improvements to be made statewide, according to an analysis released by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

Of the 11,000 bridges in Michigan, more than 10 percent are deemed structurally deficient. That means more than 1,700 bridges need repairs across the state.

There are more than 60 structurally deficient bridges on the state's interstate/highway system. Two of those bridges are in Genesee County and one is in Saginaw.

Steve Katenhus, bridge engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said it sounds worse than it may actually be.

"It's a rating guideline and rating system that we use to rate the deck, the superstructure or the substructure. The deck is what carries the traffic, like the floor in your house. The beams or superstructure are like your joists in your house. And the substructure is like your basement. So if one of those three elements drop to a poor rating, that's just a rating. Then that's when it becomes structurally deficient," Katenhus said.

He said once a structure reaches that level, a rehabilitation plan is put into place - typically spanning as long as five years.

"Remember, it's a rating system. And once it is deemed structurally deficient it's a flag to say, 'hey, we need to do something.' But it doesn't mean you can't operate it safely," Katenhus said.

Repairs to the Hammerberg Road Bridge over I-69 should be finished by the end of this year.

The I-475 bridge over Stever and the I-75 bridge over the railroad near Nexteer Automotive should have repairs completed by 2020.

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