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Several area bridges rated lower than Skagit River Bridge

By Jonathan Petramala, Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter, jonathan.petramala@krdo.com
Published On: May 26 2013 11:47:50 PM CDT

Chances are you drove over a structurally deficient bridge if you hit the roads this holiday weekend.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

It’s called a “sufficiency rating.”  Transportation officials use the formula to evaluate a bridge’s sufficiency to remain in service.

The Skagit River Bridge that collapsed last week in Washington had a sufficiency rating of 57.4 out of 100.  In comparison, the I-25 Bridge over Ilex and Bennet Streets in Pueblo received a sufficiency rating of 36.9 out of 100.

Underneath the span, chunks of concrete litter the shoulder, with more threatening to fall.  Jeromie Carr drives several “structurally deficient” bridges in Pueblo on a daily basis.  He says we have been lucky only concrete chunks have fallen down.

“As of right now it’s just a matter of time before it seriously hurts somebody,” Carr said.

There are five bridges in Pueblo County with a sufficiency rating below 50 and labeled as “poor,” according to CDOT.  In El Paso County there are two.

The I-25 Bridge over Ilex and Bennet is scheduled to be replaced starting this summer, but four others in Pueblo that are rated as “poor” have no timeline scheduled for repair or replacement.

CDOT says the label “structurally deficient” doesn’t mean the bridge is likely to collapse or is unsafe, it means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and repaired or replaced at an “appropriate” time.

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