A new report found that slightly fewer of South Carolina’s bridges are considered obsolete or deficient, but more than one in every five are still considered substandard.
The report released Wednesday by AAA Carolinas examined the state’s 9,200 bridges and found about 21 percent (1,828 overall) are considered “substandard,” which means they are not designed to handle the traffic volume they see each day. That was a small decrease from the 2012 report, when 1,880 bridges were classified as substandard. The national average is 24 percent.
Substandard bridges fall under two categories by federal guidelines: structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Structurally deficient is defined as “being in relatively poor physical condition and/or inadequate to handle truck weight.” Functionally obsolete is defined as “having inadequate design for current traffic volume.” The designation does not mean the bridges are unsafe.
“South Carolina’s bridges have improved. They’ve gone from 23 percent to this year being around 20-21 percent,” AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Tiffany Wright told South Carolina Radio Network. “It’s a small increase but, hey, it’s an improvement.” [Read more...]