ODOT report warns of aging bridges in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

ODOT report warns of aging bridges in Portland

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A local engineer says most of Oregon’s bridges are like senior citizens, but instead of retiring them, drivers are making them work harder.

The latest bridge condition report from the Oregon Department of Transportation notes the state bridge system needs a constant and dependable source of funding to avoid major disrepair.

There are nearly 7,000 bridges across Oregon, including overpasses and on-ramps.

During the standard bridge inspections that ODOT does every two years, experts recently found some trouble spots in Portland.

The 99-E overpass on Grand Avenue that goes over I-84 was built in 1908, and 107 is very old for a stretch of road that 67,000 vehicles travel on every day.

The ramp from south bound I-5 to east bound I-84 is also showing signs of weakness, and if it collapses during an earthquake it could cause a major ripple effect in Portland travel.

ODOT engineer Don Hamilton explained most of city’s bridges are in pretty good shape, but Portland needs to start planning and budgeting for the future.

“We’ve got to make sure there’s adequate funding for major problems that are going to come up as we see this bridge system get older and older in the decades ahead,” Hamilton said.

The report states bridges should get major maintenance work every 30 to 50 years, however current funding in the state only covers maintenance once every 100 years.

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