MDOT Inspects Bridges After Minnesota Bridge Collapse

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Inspections of three bridges in Michigan of a similar style to the one that collapsed in Minnesota show that the spans are safe for continued use by vehicles, the state Department of Transportation director said Saturday.
A fourth bridge in a similar style, which is scheduled to be inspected Monday, is used only by pedestrians, MDOT said.
Inspections were completed Friday on the US 23 bridge over the Ocqueoc River, southeast of Cheboygan; M-55 bridge over the Pine River, east of Manistee; and US 2 bridge over the Cut River, northwest of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula.
"We are very confident those three bridges ... are completely safe, as is every other bridge that is open to traffic in the state of Michigan," MDOT Director Kirk Steudle said in a telephone interview.
MDOT announced Thursday that the three bridges would be inspected along with the M-26 bridge over the Eagle River, north of Houghton.
At least five people were killed in Minneapolis when concrete and steel abruptly gave way Wednesday in rush-hour traffic, sending dozens of vehicles and tons of debris into the Mississippi River.
About 16 percent of Michigan's nearly 11,000 total bridges are "structurally deficient," according to a 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation. That compares with about 12 percent nationwide.
About 28 percent of Michigan's bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, compared with about 26 percent nationally, based on the federal report.

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