Analysis shows Iowa among nation's worst for bridges - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Analysis shows Iowa among nation's worst for bridges

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

James and Kaimi Addison Lee live in Johnson County. They never really thought about bridge safety until they learned Iowa has more structurally deficient bridges than any other state except Pennsylvania.

"I think it's terrible," said Kaimi Addison.

"It makes me wonder now if I would cross a bridge, what would happen," said James.

According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, bridges are structurally deficient if at least one part of the bridge is considered to be in poor or worse condition. More than 5,000 of the state's bridges fit this description and most can be found on roads in rural areas.

The numbers are much lower once you start looking in urban areas and on state-monitored highways and interstates.

"Since 2008 actually the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state system has been cut in half," said Norman McDonald, bridge engineer for the Iowa Department of Transportation.

To get that number down to zero, officials say it would cost an additional $40 million a year and that's just for the state monitored roads.

Once you add in city and county roads the estimate is around $2 billion.

Still -- drivers are concerned about safety.

"It's scary to know that something could possibly happen and not only to me but you know everyone," said Kaimi Anderson Lee. "That's just terrible."

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