Sick Bridges: An Eagle Eye Team Special Report

Sick Bridges | Failing Spans; Scant Dollars

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The Berkshire Eagle offers readers a guide to the sorry state of bridges in Berkshire County. 

Odds are good you cross at least one sick bridge on your daily travels.

State Department of Transportation crews closely monitor the worst of the region’s bridges — those dubbed structurally deficient — returning often to check on their deterioration. 

But due to funding gaps, municipalities and the state are falling behind on sorely needed infrastructure repairs. 

This special section offers stories, graphics, maps and charts about a problem that is gradually getting worse. Bridges erected in the 19th century are still in use, though as our interactive map shows, some of those old spans are on the disabled list.

To calculate the worst of the troubled bridges, MassDOT uses a “health index” formula that considers a variety of factors. 

That formula this year ranked a remote bridge in Otis as the span most in need of repair, in part because if it fails, there is no other way to get to properties on the other side. 

Other factors used in calculating bridge health include average daily traffic and the presence of load restrictions. 

Lots of problems land bridges on the sick list. The problem, for their owners, lies chiefly in finding the money to get them repaired and off that list. 

The costly, steady ruin of bridges in Berkshire County

The costly, steady ruin of bridges in Berkshire County

A complete list of Berkshire County’s structurally deficient bridges

A complete list of Berkshire county’s structurally deficient bridges

Berkshire County’s Top 10 structurally deficient Bridges

Berkshire County’s Top 10 structurally deficientBridges

New state fund throws lifeline to towns

New state fund throws lifeline to towns

Weak, rusting bridges rattle some nerves

Weak, rusting bridges rattle some nerves

Nat Karns: The sorry state of Berkshire County bridges

Nat Karns: The sorry state of Berkshire County bridges


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