Watchdog: Accountability

Money shortages allow bridges in Colorado to deteriorate

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Bridges in Colorado are crumbling because of a lack of money.

Trucks slam into the York Street railroad bridge in Denver, Colo., so frequently that the underside is scarred, according to a KDVR-TV investigation into the bridge.

The bridge is 11 feet, 5 inches tall with chunks missing from it and rebar exposed, the investigation found.

Workers nearby told KDVR they see multiple trucks strike the bridge — which was built in 1912 — daily.

Since 2009, police records show it has been rammed into by trucks at least 38 times. The number may be higher since the trucks don't always get stuck, so they can drive away before police can ticket them.

One inspection of the York Street bridge from 2013 found that, "ends of slab have been hit numerous times – ripping out longitudinal rebars and concrete piles are heavily deteriorated and one is missing," according to KDVR.

Safety inspections of 150 other railroad bridges around Colorado show nearly 25 percent have either flunked their latest inspection or are deteriorating toward being "structurally deficient," according to the investigation.

Why hasn't the problem been fixed? There may not be enough taxpayer money to do it all.

See the complete story from KDVR here. (Meanwhile, President Obama was slated to make a pitch Wednesday morning in New York for more federal funding for infrastructure, including roads and bridges. See the related story at this link.)

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Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner