11 bridges in Houston area deemed 'structurally deficient'

HOUSTON - It's a topic that affects everyone.

We drive over them every day, not realizing the condition they're in.

Many major highway and road bridges have been labeled "structurally deficient" by the Texas Department of Transportation.

It means part of the bridge is in poor shape.

There are nearly 56,000 bridges like this in the country, 11 are in the Houston area.

The report was put together by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and while it labels just two percent of the bridges across Texas as "structurally deficient," that's a total of 900 bridges and it's no comfort to the drivers who use them.

Everyday drivers use bridges to make their way across Houston, never thinking twice about whether or not that bridge is safe.

There are nine bridges in Harris County categorized as "structurally deficient," one in Montgomery County and one in Galveston County.

That means one or more key parts of the bridge, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure are considered to be in poor condition.

The last bridge on the list, the Yale Street Bridge, was just recently replaced.

A couple of the bridges on the list may look familiar.

In 2014 Channel 2 Investigates found the I-45 Bridge over White Oak Bayou and the bridge on U.S.-90 over Country Club Bayou were structurally deficient.

TXDOT says it performs inspections on all bridges every two years, and if a bridge is labeled as structurally deficient it doesn't necessarily mean it's unsafe, rather it might just need routine maintenance such as resurfacing.

Of the 53,488 bridges in the state, 900, or 2 percent, are classified as structurally deficient.

This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in "poor" or worse condition.

Some 8,997 bridges, or 17 percent, are classified as functionally obsolete. This means the bridge does not meet design standards in line with current practice.

Also, 1,525 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.

Federal investment in Texas has supported $8 billion for capital improvements on 4,639 bridges between 2005 and 2014.

Over the last 10 years, 5,942 new bridges have been constructed in the state; 1,292 have undergone major reconstruction.

The state has identified needed repairs on 12,106 bridges, which the state estimates will cost $8 billion.

HARRIS COUNTY:

  • IH 45 NB over White Oak Bayou
  • IH 610S WB over Holmes Rd UPRR & Theresa
  • IH 610S EB over Holmes Rd UPRR Theresa
  • IH 10 WB over McCarty St/US 90A
  • SH 288 SB over US 59 NB & Alabama St
  • S Braeswood Blvd over Hcfcd Ditch
  • US 59 Hov W Ramp over US 59 Hov
  • US 90A (S Wayside) over Country Club Bayou

GALVESTON COUNTY:

  • IH 45 NB over BNSF RR

MONTGOMERY COUNTY:

  • IH 45 SB over Rayford/Sawdust Rd.

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