How safe are the bridges of New York State?

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By Dave Dellecese

Two months ago today the country watched in disbelief as a bridge collapsed in Minnesota. It prompted Governor Eliot Spitzer to order a mandatory inspection of bridges similar to that in Minnesota.

So how safe are they in New York State?

The New York State Department of Transportation recently posted on its website the complete list of its bridge inspection data. In that data, there are dozens of bridges in Oneida County labeled structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Those labels are terms used by the federal government. And they might sound scary at first. But the New York State Department of Transportation had one of the toughest sets of criteria when it comes to inspecting a bridge's safety.

"We inspect 9,500 bridges a year," said Mike Shamma with the state department of transportation. "That's a lot of bridges that get inspected...the data gets collected, analyzed, and put into our databases,"

Shamma continued on to say that the bottomline is that you don't have to worry about your safety when driving over a bridge in New York State. Construction seen in the video link attached to this story, he said,  is further proof of how diligent the New York State Department of Transportation is when it comes to taking care of bridges in need of repair.

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