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As The Nation's Bridges Crumble, Utah Stands Strong
Three percent of Utah bridges are due for maintenance.

Utah has some bragging rights when it comes to its bridges. John Gleason with the State Department of Transportation said a report from American Road and Transportation Builders Association shows that about 3 percent of Utah's approximately 3,000 public bridges are structurally deficient. He said that's the fifth lowest rate in the nation.

“We’re always looking to improve. Safety is our top priority, and any time we can address issues, we’re going to look to do that,” Gleason said.

Gleason said all bridge structures in the state are inspected every two years, while bridges with more extensive deterioration are inspected more often.

According to the report, Nevada, Florida, Texas and Arizona are the only states with fewer structurally compromised bridges than Utah. Warmer and drier western weather, and newer infrastructure than in eastern states, are among the factors transportation officials say are helping the top states. Gleason said it also helps that in recent years Utah has repaired or replaced many bridges along its main interstate highways.

“We've had major capacity projects on I-15 and I-80, and many of the bridges on these major routes are new within the past decade, decade and a half,” Gleason said.

According to the report, there are about 61,000 bridges in the United States that are considered structurally compromised. The research shows that the majority of the bridges needing work are on interstate highways, which carry the bulk of truck traffic and passenger vehicles.