In light of the I5 bridge collapse in Skagit County last night, here are some facts about Spokane Co. bridges.
We want to stress that we’re not trying to alarm anyone and there is very little chance any of our bridges are going to fall down, but the fact remains that maintenance is a necessity and the funds to do it are very limited. What I’m getting at is that an alternative source to fund transportation maintenance is needed ASAP. Will that mean we have to quit building new roads or adding lanes to existing roads to pay for upkeep instead? It’s a very real possibility. The state has shifted to a “fix it first” mentality, meaning the priority is now on maintenance rather than new construction.
- There are 377 bridges or “spans” in the County
- 21 are structurally deficient, or need repairs to decks, girders, etc.
- 65 are functionally obsolete, meaning they were built for the traffic of the past and may have weight restrictions as they can’t support the monster semis of today.
- Being structurally deficient or functionally obsolete does NOT mean that those bridges are going to collapse anytime soon.
- 140 of the bridges were built before 1962 and are over 50 years old.
- Total estimated cost for bridge “improvements” is $1.9 billion.