Advocacy group says 154 bridges deficient

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A transportation advocacy group says dozens of bridges in the Twin Cities area need significant repairs.

Transportation for America’s report, based on Federal Highway Administration data, says 154 bridges are “structurally deficient’ in the metro area. Those bridges carry 1.8 million vehicles every day.

But, the group’s report also says the area’s bridges are in better condition than the national average. One in nine bridges in the U.S. was found to be deficient, compared with one in 17 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

After the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis four years ago, the state began an extensive bridge repair and replacement program. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports transportation officials say about half of the state’s bridges identified in 2008 as critical will be repaired by the end of this construction season.