Report: Iowa's bridges among worst in U.S. - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Report: Iowa's bridges among worst in U.S.

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Bridge construction on 35W in Minneapolis. One in nine bridges around the country is structurally deficient, according to a new report. Bridge construction on 35W in Minneapolis. One in nine bridges around the country is structurally deficient, according to a new report.
The Bridge over Hunter Creek near Hazleton has been repaired once, but parts are still decaying. The Bridge over Hunter Creek near Hazleton has been repaired once, but parts are still decaying.
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Iowa's bridges are some of the worst in the country, according to a new report from The American Society of Civil Engineers.

The report said 5,193 -- or 21.2 percent -- of the state's bridges are rated as structurally deficient. Nationally, one in nine bridges is structurally deficient.

The report also noted 1,282 of the 24,496 bridges in Iowa, or 5.2 percent, are considered functionally obsolete.

Buchanan County Engineer Brian Keierleber said he's not surprised.

"This is true across the nation that we're dealing with many old bridges that have been under funded for generation after generation."

Keierleber said the 100-foot bridge across Hunter Creek near Hazleton has already been repaired, but parts are still decaying because of the traffic.

He said it wasn't designed to handle large, heavy farm equipment, but that's what travels on it regularly.

"You can't keep up," he said.

Keierleber said most of the funding for repairs to bridges and roads comes from fuel tax which hasn't been increased since 1989.

A county-by-county breakdown is available in a larger report from the ASCE, which says the United States infrastructure has improved, but only to a "D+" overall. Among bridges only, that grade is a "C+" for 2013.

In northeast Iowa's biggest counties, Black Hawk County has 53 structurally-deficient bridges and 24 functionally-obsolete bridges.

Johnson County has 41 structurally-deficient bridges and 24 functionally-obsolete bridges.

Linn County has 23 structurally-deficient bridges and 34 functionally-obsolete bridges.

Dubuque County has 20 functionally-deficient bridges and 38 functionally-obsolete bridges.

View the entire report from the ASCE here.
View the county-by-county bridge report here.
View the ASCE overview of Iowa here.

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