Archive for Friday, August 3, 2007

State will review inspections of deck truss bridges

KDOT has expressed confidence that Kansas bridges are safe

August 3, 2007

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The Interstate 70 bridges over the Kansas River, a "fracture critical" bridge, is scheduled to be replaced in 2008 because of deterioration in some of the steel elements. The bridges get inspected every year.

The Interstate 70 bridges over the Kansas River, a "fracture critical" bridge, is scheduled to be replaced in 2008 because of deterioration in some of the steel elements. The bridges get inspected every year.

Related document

KDOT State Bridge Inventory ( .PDF )

— State officials said Friday they will review inspection reports of Kansas' six deck truss bridges, which is the same type of bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis.

"The review of reports will allow us to consider whether we should make changes to our inspection schedule," said Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller.

Miller said the review was in response to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters' request that all such bridges in the nation be inspected. At least five people were killed and 110 injured when the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis plummeted into the Mississippi River on Wednesday.

Miller has expressed confidence that Kansas bridges are safe.

"Our bridge inspections are rigorous and our data is current and sound. The Kansas bridge system ranks among the best in the country and I want all travelers to feel safe and confident when they use our highways," Miller said.

Her comments came one day after she said there was no need to increase inspections of the 5,000 bridges in the state highway system. She said 541 of those bridges were deemed deficient but were safe to travel on.

There are six deck truss bridges in Kansas; five are in the Kansas City area and the sixth is in Atchison.

All of those bridges have been inspected within the past year and deemed safe, Miller said. Three of the bridges, components of the Interstate 70 intercity viaduct in Kansas City, Kan. will receive their annual inspections starting the week of Aug. 13 as previously had been scheduled. The other bridges are scheduled to be inspected in late summer and fall.

Earlier Friday, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius expressed confidence in the state bridges.

"Kansas at this point seems to be well ahead of curve," Sebelius said.

There are 26,000 bridges in Kansas, including state, local and turnpike structures. And approximately 21 percent of those are considered either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, Miller said. KDOT released its full inventories today (left).

Functionally obsolete usually means the bridge is more narrow than modern standards. A structurally deficient bridge doesn't mean its unsafe, she said. It means the bridge must be monitored closely.

The state highway system includes 5,000 bridges and about 10 percent -- or 541 -- of those are considered deficient, with most of those being designated functionally obsolete, she said.

Comments

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 11 months ago

Hello. Could you get a few bridges for me before I have to drive over them this evening?

JoRight 7 years, 11 months ago

LJW should start a "bridge alert level," just like a "terror alert level." In fact, it's a Friday at 5 level, so I better go home.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 11 months ago

"Her comments came one day after she said there was no need to increase inspections of the 5,000 bridges in the state highway system. She said 541 of those bridges were deemed deficient but were safe to travel on."

No this is an argument about a political appointee and Civil Servant toeing the same old line that the STate does everything perfectly. Then one day later after some really well informed people made decisions she had to eat her words.

Typical Beauracrat speek for not knowing what the hell is going on, but speaking as if they know what is the real score of the situation!

Absolutely illustrates the cluelessness of our Civil Service employees!

They stink even at the higher levels.

Sigmund 7 years, 11 months ago

This is idiotic. They will review "inspection reports" of Kansas' six deck truss bridges to determine if KDOT should make changes to their inspection schedule? Yet not a word about scheduling repairs for the 21% of the 26,000 bridges in Kansas that are "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete?"

Exactly one year ago today KDOT declared "Baldwin Junction" as "safe" even though their own statistics showed it was one of the most dangerous intersection in Kansas! Between 2002 and 2005, 36 accidents occurred at the intersection - 17 resulting in serious injury including numerous deaths.

Eventually the carnage became too much and Governor Kathy's election campaign forced KDOT to put in a four-way stop, rumble strips, and blinky lights. Despite KDOT's ludicrous claims that the intersection was already safe, in the year since they fixed this "safe" intersection there has been only one reported accident with no serious injuries. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/aug...

So now comes KDOT's Ms. Miller claiming 21% of 26,000 bridges in Kansas are considered either "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete" but nonetheless are safe. Just to make sure they are NOT going to inspect bridges. Nope they are going to review reports and tweak their schedule!

So now after wondering what dictionary KDOT's found it's definitions of safe that includes "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete," we get to wonder how much carnage it will take this time for KDOT begin to actually fix our "safe" bridges that "must be monitored closely."

Orwell would be proud that "1984" double speak is alive and well at KDOT in 2007.

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