Iowa’s Bridges Need Fixed Yesterday
The song goes, "like a bridge over troubled water." Except the bridge itself, a good many of them anyway, are among the nation's most troubled here in Iowa.
KWWL reports that in an investigation by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) 60 percent of Iowa's bridges have been labeled either "fair" or "poor". With the seventh most bridges in the United States, we have the most in need of repair.
They note that a bridge in bad condition doesn't always mean it's unsafe, it simply means "deterioration or damage that may need repair or replacement in the near future". The most recent report from the Iowa Capital Dispatch found 348 Iowa bridges closed due to being in poor condition. Nearly 80 percent of the bridges in poor condition carry less than 100 passengers a day, but the distinction between a simply damaged bridge and an actually unsafe one is probably of little comfort to them. They need to be fixed, like, yesterday.
Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad back in 2015 approved a 10-cent increase in fuel taxes that was designed to generate $200 million a year for road and bridge projects, but as the politicians continue to grapple in Washington over how much money should be spent on infrastructure, and what exactly the definition of "infrastructure" even is (hint: it generally includes repairing bridges), it might explain the delay in getting some of these bridges fixed.
When a bridge is found unsafe, it is closed by the DOT and overall, the state currently has 4,497 bridges in "poor" condition. 9,996 are listed as "fair" and 9,340 are in "good" condition.
PHOTOS: Massive 2020 Storm Causes Widespread Damage in Cedar Rapids