The bridge that collapsed in Minnesota was listed as "structurally deficient" by the federal government. As NBC15's Andrea Ramey tells us, surprisingly, several of our area bridges are also listed as structurally deficient.(MOBILE, Ala.) Aug. 2 --
Steve Comer drives on this bridge almost daily. "Twice daily, if not more," Comer said.
Comer didn't realize the bridge he drives on several times a day has a sufficiency rating of 47 percent.
"It's definitely something to think about, hopefully, it'll get checked into," Comer said.
This bridge is maintained by the city of Mobile. Engineers there said many factors go into a rating, but a low-score doesn't mean it's not safe for driving.
"I would say our bridges are structurally adequate," city engineer Bob Vogtner said.
Out of more than 700 bridges in Mobile County, 55 are considered structurally deficient.
"It means that a bridge is in relatively poor condition, has insufficient load carrying capacity," ALDOT Maintenance Engineer Nick Amberger said.
Even more bridges are considered functionally obsolete meaning parts of the bridge are out-dated. Bridge inspectors said people shouldn't worry about a bridge collapsing in our area. The likelihood of that, they said, is very rare.
"All the bridges are maintained so the traveling public can ride over the bridges comfortably and not think about it," Comer said.
But with such a terrible disaster at the forefront of Comer's mind, he said not thinking about this bridge's low score will be a hard task.
The kind of bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis is what's called a "deck truss" bridge, which is an older design. ALDOT officials said there are no bridges like that in our area.