Thursday, August 02, 2007

Know Your Bridge Safety Rating?

When you hear that a bridge has a safety rating of 50 out of a possible 120, your mind automatically equates it educational standards. If you scored 50 out of 120 in math class, you fail - and badly. So, is the same true of a bridge's safety score?

I don't know. It is hard to know what a number assigned to a structure means. Even when the words "Structurally Deficient" are attached to the bridge, it just makes matter more confusing. Such a label, in my mind, is attached to a structure that should not be used at all.

I predict the following will happen:

1. Bridge safety scores will become common knowledge.
2. These scores will be easily accessible on the internet.
3. Billions will be spent on bridge upgrades over the next decade.
4. People will not tolerate bridge safety scores under a certain threshhold - higher than 50.
5. Vocal bridge watchdog groups will form and create websites and hound politicians on poor bridge safety.

One year from today, you will know the bridge safety score of the major bridges in your city.

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