The state transportation department expects to finsih its bridge inspections within a matter of days. The inspections were triggered by last month’s Minneapolis bridge collapse.

Department spokesman Jeff Briggs says the inspectors can tell the difference between normal weathering and real bridge damage. He says the average person might see some cracking or rusting or even some bent pieces of metal. But Briggs says that doe snot necessarily mean the structural integrity of the bridge is compromised. He says the inspectors look at the critical parts that affect the bridge’s ability to carry traffic.

Briggs says the criews just spot problems. They don’t make repairs on the spot. He says the department will usually narrow the bridge to fewer lanes if traffic can still use it, but if the bridge has a "critical" safety problem, the bridge is immediately closed until repairs are made.


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