Sick Bridges: An Eagle Eye Team Special Report

A complete list of Berkshire County’s structurally deficient bridges

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These Berkshire County bridges are structurally deficient, but they aren’t the only ones with problems. The state is only required to inspect bridges measuring 20 feet or longer.

The state Department of Transportation is working to add inspections of bridges that are 10 to 20 feet in size, but results are spotty. This list may include some discrepancies due to delays in uploading inspection data to the state’s database. Also, information is not available for all bridge details.

Bridge conditions are rated on a 0 to 9 scale. A bridge is listed as structurally deficient if any of its three elements receive a rating of 0 to 4. A rating of 0 is a failed bridge taken out of service. Here is what the severe ratings mean:

 

1 is imminent failure, with “major deterioration or section loss present in critical structural components” and results in closing, though with corrective action the bridge can be put back in service.

2 is critical condition, with “advanced deterioration of primary structural elements.”

3 is serious condition, with “loss of section (and) deterioration.”

4 is poor condition, with “advanced section loss, deterioration, spalling or scour.” Spalling refers to deterioration in which flakes of metal come loose. Scour involves water flow that weakens the integrity of bridge supports.

 

* The parts of a bridge are defined as the deck (the traveling surface), the superstructure (beams, trusses, etc., that hold up the deck) and the substructure (piers and abutments that hold up the superstructure).

 




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