GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There is a lot of focus on infrastructure right now across the country and the Michigan Department of Transportation provided News 8 an update on just how bad some of our bridges are in the state.
“The ASCE, the American Society of Civil Engineers, gave us a D+ rating so it’s not great,” said Jonathan Bruimsna, a bridge engineer with MDOT.
In total, there are about 13,000 bridges in Michigan. MDOT is responsible for maintaining about half of those. Of the 13,000 bridges in our state, nearly 1,100 are rated in poor condition.
“Once it gets beyond that point to the poor or serious then you are looking at more of a rehabilitation fix or replacement so it’s usually more expensive and heavier type fix,” said Bruimsna.
Bridges in Michigan get rated in a zero through nine system where zero means the bridge is closed because it’s in such bad condition and nine being brand new. Most of our bridges are in the five to six categories, meaning they are in fair condition.
However, according to MDOT, there are a significant number of bridges rated four or below — meaning they are in poor or worse condition. Fixing them comes with a hefty price tag.
“On a state level, it’s $2.5 billion to bring all the state-owned bridges up to good or fair then I think an additional $1.5 billion to bring all the local agencies bridges so a total of $4 billion to bring all the poor or worse bridges up to good or fair,” Bruimsna said.
Bridges are inspected by MDOT engineers at least once every 24 months unless a bridge is rated poor then it’s inspected at least once a year.
The hope is for one day to have all Michigan bridges rated in good condition.
MDOT noted no bridges are ever left open if they are not safe for drivers to cross.