Age, Deterioration and Funding Remain Core Problems, 11 percent of the nation’s 607,000 bridges were considered “structurally deficient” in 2012, according to the Federal Highway Commission. Just five years prior, the agency reported 12 percent. Not much has changed, even since the I-35 Minnesota bridge collapse in 2007 that prompted massive bridge investigations across the country. Even more alarming is the average age of a bridge in the U.S. is 42 years old. So what does all of this information mean to citizens who travel across these spans of steel and concrete?
We should be worried. Not only because of the reports or the ages of such structures, but because we are seeing more bridges collapse as a result of these factors. CBS released this video about the vulnerability of U.S. bridges: The Fall of Washington State and Missouri Bridges an overloaded truck that struck critical portions of the infrastructure reportedly caused the May 23, 2013 collapse of the I-5 bridge in Mount Vernon, Washington, that sent multiple cars into the Skagit River. Just two days later, another bridge collapsed near Rockview, Missouri, this time because of two freight trains that crashed on tracks running beneath the bridge. To those who read the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2013 report on the nation’s infrastructure, this news may not be alarming. According to the group, one out of every nine bridges is structurally deficient. Who Will Pay for the Fix With the federal Highway Trust Fund forecast to go broke by 2015, the answers to who will fund bridge repairs remain murky at best.
While the federal government designated $27 billion for highway projects under the stimulus program, only about $3 billion went to bridge projects. States are researching ways to raise money for bridge repairs, but with collapses increasing it is hard to imagine the fixes outpacing the disasters. How Personal Injury Lawyers are Handling Bridge Collapses as an experienced team of personal injury lawyers, Clifford Law Offices has represented victims in a number of collapse incidents. For example, the firm represents the family of Burton and Zorine Lindner in a 2012 bridge collapse case. The couple, married 47 years, was killed when a bridge collapsed and fell down on their car in Glenview, a suburb of Chicago. The personal injury lawyers at Clifford Law Offices work on bridge collapse cases because they understand the failing integrity of the national infrastructure and the importance of addressing the situation.