DOT: No unsafe bridges in Georgia.

In the wake of the bridge collapse on Minneapolis, I imagine DOT officials in all 50 states received phone calls from the press – and they should. It’s astounding that this happened in America. Take comfort though, it’s all Bush’s fault and he’ll be gone in a year and a half.

More than 1,100 roadway bridges in Georgia are in such bad shape that they need renovation or rebuilding, state and federal records show. Another 1,800 Georgia bridges are considered functionally obsolete: They aren’t designed to meet new standards.

Nearly 500 of the problem bridges are in metro Atlanta.

But while one in five Georgia bridges are considered by the government to be structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, the state Department of Transportation says no roads now open to traffic are unsafe for the vehicles that travel them. Georgia spends about $100 million a year on bridge maintenance

6 comments

  1. Rusty says:

    I guess it’s sort of a novelty when there’s a disaster and/or scandal that actually isn’t Bush’s fault. I can’t say that I blame people at this point for defaulting to that position.

  2. No Buzz, the difference was everyone in America and the world could watch a week’s worth of coverage of the hurricane slowly approaching New Orleans. Every day in that lead up week was full of approaching doomsday stories. Government in general took the blame, Bush is unpopular now and so is Blanco.

    Even if it does turn out that this bridge disaster was avoidable it wouldn’t be like everyone knew it was bound to happen and there have to be close to 1 million bridges in the country anyway, whereas there was only 1 class 5 hurricane headed to 1 city that due to geography wasn’t really capable of handling that attack.

    The sad thing is that statistically a bridge collapse like this is bound to happen at some point. If there were 100,000 bridges in Georgia and the failure rate of a bridge was 1/1,000,000 there’d be a 10% chance each year that at least 1 bridge would have some sort of failure. Most people would probably tell you that a safety rate of 999,999/1,000,000 would be acceptable but them the breaks.

  3. grabbingsand says:

    I cross about three different suburban bridges during my morning and evening commute. Like most bridges in Georgia, these all have their year of manufacture stamped into the side pylons at either end. At least one of these reads “1963.”

    Some days, my reaction to seeing that date is: “Neat. This bridge is 44 years old.”

    Other days, my reaction is more like: “Holy sh*t! This bridge is 44 years old!”

  4. Doug Deal says:

    Chris,

    I just think too many people are hysterical. It’s not a majority, but it is enough that the vast majority who realize choice in life is a calculated risk of some sort are greatly outweighed.

    As horrific as the 9/11 was only around 3,000 people died. That last major terrorist act was the Oklahoma city bombing which was 6 years earlier. That amounts to about 500 Americans dying in terrorists actions a year.

    About 80 times that die and 6,000 times that get injured in auto accidents a year, yet there is hardly a word about the carnage in the streets. More pedestrians are struck by cars every year than died in 9/11. Should we outlaw those demon boxes on wheels?

    In 2005, 17,000 Americans were murdered. Is there even a fraction of the attention on murders? Since 9/11, thats about 100,000 people.

    Bridge disasters will happen, no matter how well things are maintained. The key is to not become hysterical about it, and fix that which is flawed, but realize that nothing is and can never be 100% safe.

    Even if we were all locked in padded cells, someone would eventually manage to choke to death on their own saliva.

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