Following the collapse of the 35W Bridge, NDDOT bridge inspectors conducted an interim safety inspection from August – October 2007. The interim inspection reviewed bridges throughout the state including:
- 751 bridges that were rated structurally deficient, which included 5 urban, 32 state and 714 county bridges.
- In addition, 36 bridges on the North Dakota/Minnesota border over the Red and Boise de Sioux Rivers were inspected through a cooperative effort with Minnesota Department of Transportation officials (MnDOT).
- Inspections were also performed on 137 bridges that were rated fracture critical structures.
During the interim inspection process:
- One bridge on the state system was temporarily closed. The state highway system bridge on US 281 west of Churchs Ferry near Devils Lake was repaired and reopened within weeks
- The NDDOT also worked with county officials to close 19 low traffic volume county bridges to ensure safety of the traveling public.
- NDDOT inspectors also noted that counties had closed an additional 22 bridges as a result of previous inspections
When bridges are closed, local officials work with the state to make corrective repairs, replace the bridge or provide alternative access. The rehabilitation of the county structures is at the county’s discretion, and all repaired bridges are re-inspected prior to opening.
The interim bridge inspection was followed by the regularly scheduled inspection in which 2,436 additional bridges were inspected from November 2007 to April 2008. This inspection included:
- 865 County structures
- 1472 State Structures
- 99 Urban structures
As a result of the regular inspection program for the 2007-2008 inspection cycle, three county bridges were closed (one in Ward County and two in Golden Valley County).
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