The state transportation department is almost finished with its inspections of bridges with the same general design of the bridge that collapsed last month in Minneapolis. Missouri has more than a dozen of those bridges. They’re all old. A truss bridge of that design has not been built in Missouri for decades.
Department spokesman Jeff Briggs says the state is responsible for inspecting 11 of them. Other states will inspect the three that link Missouri with those states. The transportation department identified the bridges and started inspecting them the day after the Minneapolis collapse Eight of the first nine had no problems. The Highway 47 bridge at Washington had to be closed briefly for a repair.
The department finished its tenth bridge this week—the Highway 17 bridge at Tuscumbia, in Miller County–and has limited some loads on it until repairs to an expansion joint can be made. The repair work will start on September 18th. With the load limits, the bridge is safe to cross.
The last bridge to be inspected is on an outer road at Times Beach, in St. Louis County. It, like the bridge at Tuscumbia, was built in 19-32.
Briggs says the bridges might be old but they still have years of life in them. Keeping them in good repair is considerably cheaper than replacing them.