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Mass. Program Fixes Bridges, But More Need Repair

bridgeBOSTON (AP) — An aggressive, multi-billion-dollar bridge repair program has helped Massachusetts significantly reduce its number of bridges with structural problems, but hundreds of them are still awaiting repair.

Meanwhile an Associated Press review of national bridge records shows several dozen of those bridges are additionally deemed “fracture critical.” That means they’re at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails.

State Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said the state will make repairs as quickly as funds allow, but that rigorous inspections or interim repairs make all state bridges safe for travel in the meantime.

Nationally, about 11 percent of bridges are structurally deficient.

Massachusetts had roughly the same percentage of structurally deficient bridges in 2008, when the state began an eight-year, $3 billion program. Today, roughly 9 percent are structurally deficient.

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