New Mexico's bridges could see trouble

Posted at: 05/24/2013 8:04 PM
Updated at: 05/24/2013 8:16 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Washington State bridge collapse has New Mexicans wondering about bridge safety in their state. One recent report shows hundreds of the state's bridges could be in trouble.

About 18 percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete by federal standards. That doesn’t mean they’re dangerous, only that they’ll will need work in the in the future, according to state Transportation Department officials.

They say all of New Mexico’s 3,000 bridges are inspected on a regular basis.  

The American Society of Civil Engineers says the state needs to spend $178 million to replace deficient bridges – about 350. And that figure will only increase as time and traffic take their toll.    

The group also gives New Mexico an ‘F’ letter grade for future funding of bridge repair and replacement. That's because the state’s trucking fees and gasoline taxes are among the lowest in the nation.