GADOT: Structurally deficient bridge still safe - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GADOT: Structurally deficient bridge still safe

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A new independent report ranked the top 10 most structurally deficient bridges by state.

None of the bridges in the Lowcountry were on the list, but of the top 10 in Georgia, one is right here at home: the Interstate-516 Tremont Road overpass in Savannah.

While the words structurally deficient may sound scary, the Georgia Department of Transportation provided some encouraging information regarding the timing of the study and some recent roadwork.

Chatham County's I-516 bridge leading up to Interstate-16 is ranked number seven in Georgia among the bridges deemed structurally deficient.

Some factors for deficiency? Almost 47,000 vehicles, including big rigs, use this interchange daily. That increases wear and tear. Age is another factor; the overpass was completed in 1967.

Once it gets a deficiency designation, it's at that point when the bridge becomes eligible for federal funding that may be available for reconstruction or replacement. 

It does not necessarily mean the bridge is unsafe.

Jill Nagel with the Georgia Department of Transportation reiterated that fact.

"Georgia's bridges are safe," said Nagle. "None of us will allow an unsafe bridge to remain in operation."

Also the report was based off a 2013 national bridge inventory, and after a GADOT inspection of the Tremont bridge, construction crews completed $358,000 of work just last month to make repairs, rendering a 2013 study a little deficient itself..

Along with roadwork, the GADOT can enforce a weight limit along some of the bridges.

For a complete list of the top 10 deficient bridges by state, please visit here.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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