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Report: 2,100 Texas Bridges Classified Deficient But Safe

Austin -- More than 2,100 Texas bridges have been classified under the same "structurally deficient" rating given to the span that collapsed in Minnesota.
/ Source: KXAN-TV

Austin -- More than 2,100 Texas bridges have been classified under the same "structurally deficient" rating given to the span that collapsed in Minnesota.

But state officials Thursday said all Texas bridges are completely safe.

Structurally deficient bridges accounted for 4 percent of the state's approximately 50,000 bridges in a 2006 report by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Seventy-seven percent of Texas bridges were labeled good or better.

Most of the rest were deemed functionally obsolete, meaning they aren't designed to handle current traffic demand.

TxDOT spokesman Mark Cross said Texas bridges are inspected at least every two years, and those with critical issues are checked out more frequently.

State Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville said even bridges deemed structurally deficient are still capable of carrying much more weight than could possibly be applied.

Nichols served on the Texas Transportation Commission for eight years.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.