The bridge collapse accident in Minneapolis has some people asking how safe are the bridges here in San Angelo. Donald Peterson the supervising area engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation says, TXDOT officials spend thousands of dollars a year inspecting bridges in Texas.
We perform a minimum of two inspections a year. We don't let them exceed more than 6 months. We also contract consultants to inspect the bridges, and it's a very detailed report, and it also analyzes structures. These structures are very well designed and don't need much maintenance. It's when you start having erosion, as far as salt used for icy conditions. And that's when you start having problems with the bridges. Says Peterson.
When inspecting bridges TxDot bridge engineers follow a routine procedure.
We look at the columns, erosion done by rain fall or uh, rivers. We also inspect the bridge slabs, make sure they're in good condition. We inspect the railing, so that if there was a car accident. Says Peterson.
One bridge TxDot officials are conerned about is the Lone Wolf Bridge built in 1922.
It's going to be closed, and a bridge built right next to it and used as pedestrian walk way. A lot of these old bridges because they have historic value we won't remove them. Says Peterson .
TxDot in San Angelo spends more than 600-thousand dollars a year for bridge maintenance and repairs ...in hopes of preventing bridge accidents in the Concho Valley.
For more information on bridge maintenence in Texas log onto www.dot.state.tx.us.