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Group Says SD 5th Worst State For Bridge Quality

March 28, 2011, 7:52 AM

Group Says SD 5th Worst State For Bridge Quality
A transportation advocacy group says 20 percent of bridges in South Dakota are structurally deficient by federal standards.

The Washington, D.C.-based group Transportation for America says that's well above the national average of 11.5 percent and ranks South Dakota fifth worst in the nation for bridge quality.

Kevin Goeden, the state's chief bridge engineer, says just because a bridge is labeled "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete" doesn't mean it isn't safe to drive on. He says it means that the bridge has some sort of defect that makes it a good candidate for repair or replacement.

State and local engineers say most of the problems are with small, rural bridges in counties where money is tight. Goeden says the 1,823 bridges the state oversees are in good shape overall.

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