Climate change raises new risk: Are inland bridges too low?
Climate change is often seen as posing the greatest risk to coastal areas. But the nation’s inland cities face perils of their own, including more intense storms and more frequent flooding.
As a result, many river communities are raising or replacing bridges that suddenly seem too low to stay safely above water.
The reconstructed bridges range from multi-lane structures that handle heavy traffic loads to small rural spans traversed by school buses and farmers. The bridges are being raised even in states such as Texas, where political leaders have long questioned whether climate change is real.
In Des Moines, more than a decade after a train trestle was made into a pedestrian bridge, crews went back to hoist the span 4 feet higher, at a cost of $3 million.