Bridges by the numbers

May 6, 2015 Atlanta : Weather Calling - Nancy Okeson talks on her cell phone as she walks her 7-year old lab, Lulu over the bridge along the Lake Forrest Drive side of Chastain Park Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Okeson says she and her dog make the 3-mile trek everyday rain or shine and said she has really been enjoying the string of dry days with low humidity. Channel 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny with a high of 84 and a low of 62. The Chastain Park Spring Festival will be held May 9 & May 10, Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM – 6:00PM. For more information, go to www.chastainparkartsfestival.com
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May 6, 2015 Atlanta : Weather Calling - Nancy Okeson talks on her cell phone as she walks her 7-year old lab, Lulu over the bridge along the Lake Forrest Drive side of Chastain Park Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Okeson says she and her dog make the 3-mile trek everyday rain or shine and said she has really been enjoying the string of dry days with low humidity. Channel 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny with a high of 84 and a low of 62. The Chastain Park Spring Festival will be held May 9 & May 10, Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM – 6:00PM. For more information, go to www.chastainparkartsfestival.com

AJC Columnist Tom Sabulis has an interesting look at the condition of the state’s bridges in today’s Opinions piece.

It’s timely since the State Transportation Board is expected to vote Thursday to approve a $111 million bond sale that was appropriated by the General Assembly this year for bridge repair.

Few people realize how many bridges span portions of Georgia and how many are becoming geriatric.

May 6, 2015 Atlanta : Weather Calling - Nancy Okeson talks on her cell phone as she walks her 7-year old lab, Lulu over the bridge along the Lake Forrest Drive side of Chastain Park Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Okeson says she and her dog make the 3-mile trek everyday rain or shine and said she has really been enjoying the string of dry days with low humidity. Channel 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny with a high of 84 and a low of 62. The Chastain Park Spring Festival will be held May 9 & May 10, Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM – 6:00PM. For more information, go to www.chastainparkartsfestival.com

May 6, 2015 Atlanta : Weather Calling – Nancy Okeson talks on her cell phone as she walks her 7-year old lab, Lulu over the bridge along the Lake Forrest Drive side of Chastain Park Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Okeson says she and her dog make the 3-mile trek everyday rain or shine and said she has really been enjoying the string of dry days with low humidity. Channel 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny with a high of 84 and a low of 62. The Chastain Park Spring Festival will be held May 9 & May 10, Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM – 6:00PM. For more information, go to http://www.chastainparkartsfestival.com

A quick look at Georgia bridges by the numbers:

  • There are 6,529 bridges in the state system. Another 8,000 or so are locally owned.
  • Many fall into categories the state calls “structurally deficient” (79) or “functionally obsolete” (1,800) – both terms that are not really dangerous but indicate a need for repair or upgrade.  Another 84 bridges fall into the “posted” classification, meaning they cannot support the state’s legal limits on trucks.
  • GDOT’s new goal with the funding influx is to replace 88 bridges a year. Last year, GDOT replaced only 60 bridges.
  • 1,622 state bridges need to be replaced over the next 20 years, which would cost the state about $322 million per year.

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