How Safe Are Bridges In North Carolina?

Washington Highway 17 Bridge
Pamlico-Tar River Bridge

Of the 13,000 bridges in North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Transportation says more than 5,600 are either structurally deficient or functionally obselete.

A bridge is structurally deficient if it is in relatively poor condition, or has insufficient load-carrying capacity. The insufficient load capacity could be due to the original design or to deterioration.

A bridge is considered functionally obsolete if it is narrow, has inadequate under-clearances, has insufficient load-carrying capacity, is poorly aligned with the roadway, and can no longer adequately service today's traffic.

For a county-by-county breakdown of deficient bridges, click here

Which bridges are considered the worst in North Carolina? AAA Carolinas has complied a list.

Here are the top five for 2007:

1. Interstate 40 Business bridge in Forsyth County (Winston-Salem) that passes over State Route 4315 ranks as the state’s worst substandard bridge, according to AAA Carolinas. The 52-year-old bridge, which carries 476,000 vehicles a week, is scheduled to be replaced in 2013.

2. Interstate 440 over SR 3007 and Southern Railroad in Wake County, set to be part of a widening project that isn’t yet on the calendar.

3. The NC24/87/210 bridge over CSX Railroad and Hillsboro St. in Cumberland County (51 years old, carries 287,000 vehicles a week).

4. The US Highway 17 bridge over New River in Onslow County (64 years old, carries 357,000 vehicles a week).

5. The Housing Conn. Road bridge over US Highway 19/23 in Buncombe County (37 years old, carries 434,000 vehicles a week).

To read the complete list click here