Three East Bay Bridges Deemed Structurally Deficient: Report - NBC Bay Area
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Three East Bay Bridges Deemed Structurally Deficient: Report

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    Of the 25,318 bridges in the state of California, 2,009, or 8 percent, are classified as structurally deficient and three are in the Bay Area, specifically in the East Bay. Pete Suratos reports. (Published Tuesday, March 22, 2016)

    Of the 25,318 bridges in the state of California, 2,009, or 8 percent, are classified as structurally deficient and three are in the Bay Area, specifically in the East Bay.

    The list was released Tuesday by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

    They are:

    • The stretch of Interstate 680 passing over Monument Boulevard in Contra Costa County which was built in 1998.
    • The Interstate Highway 880 overpass above Whipple Road in Alameda County, which was built in 1956.
    • And, the I-880 overpass, also in Alameda County, above the San Leandro Creek which was built in 1951.

    Structurally deficient means that one or more key structural elements are in poor condition, or worse. Los Angeles topped the list in California with 15 bridges given this status.

    Association officials would not go as far as saying the East Bay bridges are not driveable, but based on the data, they feel repairs should be done sooner than later.

    The Washington, D.C.-based firm that put together the report lobbies on behalf of construction and design firms for more funding to build infrastructure around the country. The report is based off of data from the Federal Highway Administration.

    "Usually, it's either the super structure which is the part above the bridge," said Alison Black, a chief economist with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. "The deck where cars are traveling across. Or the substructure where the part is holding up underneath the bridge."

    Caltrans in response to the report said drivers should not be worried and released the following statement to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday: "All of California's bridges that are open to traffic are safe. And that 'structurally deficient' doesn't mean that a bridge is unsafe...And in California, 95 percent of those bridges considered to be structurally deficient could just have minor cracks or aging paint."

    Pleasant Hill resident April Martell commutes on the stretch of I-680 highlighted in the report.

    "Honestly, the whole I-680 interchange is crowded all the time," Martell said. "It's only going to get worse because there are more and more people that have moved down to this area."

    Caltrans said routine inspections have been done on the I-680 bridge and that the structure is safe.

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