How safe are St. Louis area bridges?

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Updated Saturday, May 25 at 11:00 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Two of the most heavily traveled bridges in the St. Louis area have a design similar to a span that collapsed near Seattle.

The Blanchette and Boone bridges carry thousands of drivers into and out of St. Charles County each day. MoDOT engineers say both bridges are safe, but they have been monitoring the collapse in Washington State to see if a design flaw makes these bridges vulnerable to a hit from a truck.

Structural engineers inspect each bridge at least every two years. MoDOT said these inspections ensure the safety of local bridges.

"We have very strict inspection requirements," said Mark Croarkin with MoDOT. "We follow those requirements, and I have no concern of any of the bridges in the St. Louis region."

There are about 500 steel truss bridges in Missouri. Both the Blanchette and the Boone are larger than the bridge that collapsed into the Skagit River.

News 4's Russell Kinsaul asked whether local steel truss bridges could stand up to the impact from a semi truck.

"That's a very difficult question to answer," said Croarkin. "I mean, I don't believe that any of our bridges could be taken down by a single truck."

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