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Report: Md. Bridges in Serious Need of Repair

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- A new study finds a number of bridges in the State just aren't to par with today's standards.

George Solis reports on where the largest trouble areas are.

While the study does find that at least 20 percent of the state's bridges are in need of some TLC. It does not mean they are unsafe. Still, those that travel on them are hoping to see some change and soon.

Every day hundreds of thousands of drivers get from point A to point B. Many of them are confident the road their on is safe. Still, those that drive on these bridges on a daily basis have major concerns.

"I don't go unless I can clearly go over it," driver Sheila Hayes says.

"Yeah, they're pretty terrible," says another driver.

Wednesday, a new report by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) find those concerns aren't without some level of merit.

The study finds of the state's 5,000 plus bridges, 308 are classified as "structurally deficient." Another 1,000 are classified as "functionally obsolete"

In short, older bridges that either have a single major component that needs work or don't meet today's building standards.

ARTBA chief economist Allison Black tells WJZ that doesn't mean these findings should be taken lightly.

"A lot of the structurally deficient bridges are actually urban interstates, so those are part of the national freight network, those are America's economic expressways," says Black.

Drivers who spoke with WJZ are hopeful if nothing else the info leads to safer roadways.

"They need to do that. They need to stay on top of it so they can keep on doing what they're supposed to do," says one driver.

That same study also notes that over the last decade nearly 500 bridges have been either build or undergone major reconstruction. The report says the state is aware of at least 1500 bridges that need repairs at a price tag of $136 million.

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