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MDOT says M-26 Eagle River Bridge and state's three other continuous deck truss bridges are safe
Contact: James Lake, MDOT Office of Communications, 906-250-0993Agency: Transportation
August 7, 2007 - - On Monday, Aug. 6, a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge engineer inspected and verified the safety of the M-26 Eagle River Bridge, completing an inspection begun Friday, Aug. 3, to verify the safety of all four of the state's continuous deck truss bridges.
The three motorist bridges were inspected Friday, while Monday's inspection concentrated on the M-26 bridge over the Eagle River, which is for pedestrian use only.
"We're pleased we can reassure Michigan motorists that our bridges are safe," said MDOT Director Kirk T. Steudle. "We'll continue to follow the investigation of the Minnesota tragedy, and apply anything we learn to enhance the safety of our transportation system."
Follow-up inspections Friday of the US-2 Cut River Bridge, M-55 Pine River Bridge, and US-23 Ocqueoc River Bridge showed those structures are in good condition and are safe for all traffic. MDOT reviewed the most recent inspections of these bridges, and sent experts to verify the previous findings.
The Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, which collapsed Aug. 1, was a continuous deck truss structure.
Steudle noted that the state has significantly increased funding to rehabilitate and/or replace bridge structures over the past 10 years. In fact, $180 million will be invested in state bridges each year over the next five years. MDOT also has increased the number of bridge inspectors in recent years. In 1996, there were six highly qualified bridge inspectors; currently, there are more than 20 who have specialized training and work in teams of two.
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