March 16, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal highway data show that nearly 1,000 bridges in West Virginia are structurally deficient.
On a sufficiency scale of 0 to 100, the Federal Highway Administration rates seven bridges in the state as 0.
But West Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Brent Walker tells the Charleston Gazette that the federal ratings don't mean the state's bridges are unsafe.
The ratings serve as a guideline to prioritize the use of federal funds. Any bridge that scores below 80 is eligible for renovation or rehabilitation. A score below 50 makes a bridge eligible for federal replacement.
States are required by the federal government to inspect bridges at least every two years. If specific problems or deficiencies are found, the state regularly inspects bridges on a more frequent basis.