DOT Director Responds To Report On Poor Bridges

Ames, Iowa — The director of the Iowa DOT says the report by American Road and Transportation Builders Association ranking Iowa number one in poor bridges doesn’t tell the whole story.

Director Scott Marler says there are 4,558 structurally deficient bridges or poor bridges in the state — but that doesn’t mean they are unsafe.

Marler says Iowa ranks at the top in part because of the number of bridges here.

He says a majority of the poor bridges are on the rural road system.

Marler says counties are faced with significant and difficult decisions about which bridges to replace. He says only 26 bridges on the primary road system that the DOT oversees are in poor condition. Marler says they’ve reduced the number of poor bridges from 256 in 2006. And 21 of the 26 poor bridges on the primary system are slated for repair in the next five year road improvement program.