St. Petersburg, Florida -- While the incident that caused a traffic nightmare on I-75 in Sarasota Monday wasn't a crumbling bridge, many people initially thought that was problem. Therefore, 10 Investigates thought it might raise questions about bridge safety.
We looked into Florida's bridges and the good news is, Florida is one of the safest states with only 2.2 percent of its bridges considered "structurally deficient". Only Nevada has a lower percentage of problematic bridge.
The government defines "structural deficient" as a bridge that has major deterioration, cracks or other flaws that reduce its ability to support vehicles.
In our area, Hillsborough has the most structurally deficient bridges with nine of its 744 in that category, however, that is less than two percent.However, it doesn't mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing.
Nationally, 29 million people drive over these types of bridge each day.
In the meantime, Pinellas has two structurally deficient bridges, Manatee also has two; and Pasco, Polk, and Sarasota each have one.
Rural Putnam, Union and Monroe counties are the worst in the state with almost 14 percent of their bridges having issues.
If you haven't been around this area for a long time, you should know we have had two major incidents involving bridge collapses, the first was in 1980 when the Sunshine Skyway collapsed, but that was after it was hit by a ship. The other occurred in 2004 when the upper level of the Selmon Expressway collapsed during construction.
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