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Thousands Of Texas Bridges Need Repairs Or Replacement


More than 50,000 highway bridges in Texas have structural problems or are ‘functionally obsolete’.  That means the bridge is carrying more vehicles than planned in the original design.

The latest list of Federal Highway Administration problems contains more than 2,000 bridges in Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties.   

Val Lopez with the Texas Department of Transportation in Fort Worth says drivers should not be frightened by the term “structurally deficient”.

“In engineering terms it’s a bridge that deserves to be inspected more frequently and repaired more often," Lopez said. "It does not mean the bridge is unsafe.”

Comparing Tarrant and Dallas County data: Tarrant has 43 bridges with structural problems, about double the number in Dallas County.  But Dallas County has twice as many obsolete, overcrowded bridges at more than 1,000.

Federal officials say funding is the major impediment to bridge replacement and repair.

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.