Report shows Lake Co. low on bridge fix listU.S. Sen. Al Franken on Friday addressed a report showing more than 1,000 Minnesota bridges – nearly one in 10 across the state – are structurally deficient. In Lake County, the report shows, there are five deficient bridges out of 77, or 6.5 percent.
By: News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
U.S. Sen. Al Franken on Friday addressed a report showing more than 1,000 Minnesota bridges – nearly one in 10 across the state – are structurally deficient, and said investments in rebuilding those bridges would put thousands of Minnesotans back to work – especially those in the field of construction, which has experienced far higher unemployment that most other professions.
In Lake County, the report shows, there are five deficient bridges out of 77, or 6.5 percent. The traffic on those suspect bridges, which include some along Highway 61, is 7,543 cars a day.
The Stewart River bridge on 61, built in 1922, has been deemed “structurally deficient” and averages 6,400 drivers per day. One bridge listed is for the entrance to Baptism River State Park. Another is being fixed, over the Baptism, along with the new construction of County Road 6 outside of Finland. Another suspect bridge spans the East Split Rock River on County Road 3 near the Silver Bay airport.
The report, compiled by the group Transportation for America, states that Minnesota has 28 out of 87 counties where the average bridge condition is worse than the statewide average of 8.8 percent.
Cook County has seven of its 49 bridges on the list, 14.3 percent. St. Louis has the same percentage, 14.7, with 100 of its 682 bridges on the list.
Transportation for America is an advocate for transportation reform based in Washington. “We’re calling for more responsible investment of our federal tax dollars to create a safer, cleaner, smarter transportation system that works for everyone,” its mission statement reads.
“Minnesota has so many men and women in construction who are on the bench – and have been for a long time – and so many projects in need of their skills,” Franken said.