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


We encourage commenting on our stories to give you a chance to express your opinion. We rely upon the online community to report abuse. Repeat violators may be banned from posting comments. CLICK HERE for the guidelines for posting comments. powered by Disqus