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Many Bridges Deemed 'Structurally Deficient' In Pennsylvania

In Franklin County, that translates to one in every four bridges.
/ Source: WHAG-TV

FRANKLIN COUNTY, PA - Federal officials say Pennsylvania is one of the states leading the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges. In Franklin County, that translates to one in every four bridges. 80 bridges found in Franklin County are classified as structurally deficient, a find that is surprising county residents.

"I didn't realize there was that many. I've heard PennDOT talk about the infrastructure problems and so forth, but I didn't realize there was that many," said William Geesaman, area resident.

In Pennsylvania, there are more than 25,000 state-maintained bridges measuring eight feet or more in length. About 22% of them are deemed structurally deficient. Franklin County is home to 324 bridges with 80 of them being classified the same way.

Repairs are already underway on a once structurally deficient bridge just off Route 316 north of Waynesboro. Area residents said it's only a matter of time before those close by get some work.

"The bridge is really deteriorating. The state has been down. They have been surveying, but when they are going to start, I don't know," said Earl Garner, area resident.

They worry about what will happen if actions aren't taken before it's too late.

"It worries me a good bit because a lot of heavy trucks travel this road. I mean big tractor trailers and dump trucks," said Garner.

"I noticed some cracks in the bridge, the headwalls you can see, and I give them some thought when I hear 18 wheelers bounce going over the bridge," said Geesaman.

For now, they will keep waiting and hoping it remains safe for them to cross that bridge when they get to it. Just because a bridge is classified as structurally deficient, PennDOT officials said that doesn't mean the bridge is unsafe to drive on.

At the same time, officials said they do recognize that improvements can be made.

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