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    Ark.: 156 bridges deficient, fracture critical

    5:51 PM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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    Photo is an example of older-style bridge. (Photo: Thinkstock Photos)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP/KTHV) - Twenty state-owned bridges that carry upward of 100,000 vehicles daily are among 156 Arkansas spans that inspectors consider both structurally deficient and at risk for a catastrophe should a key component fail. That's according to records in the National Bridge Inventory.

    Most Arkansas bridges considered both deficient and "fracture critical" are on county roads that are less traveled. But eight are on significant federal highways and 11 are on Arkansas routes maintained by state transportation officials.

    Arkansas highway officials say that listing a bridge as fracture critical doesn't automatically mean it is unsafe. The agency says each bridge in the state must be inspected every two years. The ones on federal list are inspected annually, except for one, which is checked every eight months.

    Randy Ort with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said that while a bridge may be considered "fracture critical," it doesn't mean the bridge is unsafe.

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