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Quality of Life

Analysis Shows Structurally Deficient Bridges In San Diego

Cars drive on the Interstate-5 freeway in Barrio Logan, Sept. 29, 2016.
Richard Klein
Cars drive on the Interstate-5 freeway in Barrio Logan, Sept. 29, 2016.

A new analysis of California bridges shows that more than 350 structurally deficient bridges are located in San Diego County. The report was put together by The American Road and Transportation Building Association (ARTBA) with data from the US Department of Transportation’s 2016 National Bridge Inventory.

The analysis found California has 25,431 bridges, of which 1,388 are structurally deficient. The US Department of Transportation defines a structurally deficient bridge as one that is “found to be in poor condition due to deterioration and/or damage.”

Alison Black is ARTBA’s chief economist. She said damage can include things like decks or structures, but motorists won't know it.

“There isn’t a sign posted," Black said. "There’s no announcement that you’re crossing a structurally deficient bridge. But in most cases it isn’t that bridges aren’t safe. It’s just that they do need to be repaired.”

Black said the analysis showed there were 621 more structurally deficient bridges in California in 2015 than in 2016. The busiest structurally deficient bridges in San Diego County are all on Interstate 5. They span B Street, C Street, and Carmel Valley Creek. The three bridges combined see an estimated 620,000 travelers per day.