Our county engineers knew, and they have an inspection program in place to try to help make sure they are all safe for traffic. St. Clair County has 62, and Talladega County almost 250.
All of them are inspected at least every two years, and some as often as every two months.
Bridge failures are, fortunately, rare, and most of those we hear about are caused by ships or barges striking a bridge support, or in one recent case, cargo on a truck knocked loose supporting beams on a steel frame bridge.
The engineers tell us we can expect service of a half-century or more from most of our bridges, and efforts are underway now to seek federal grants to replace several bridges in the area.
As reported recently in these pages, the counties’ engineers keep track of bridges through a regular inspection program, and will close bridges deemed unsafe to protect the public.
County engineers are responsible for construction and maintenance of good roads, and work in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Transportation to provide safe roads and bridges.
We appreciate the work they do and the reassurance they provide.