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The I-85 bridge collapse once again has bridge stability at the forefront of the news, though stability was not the cause of the fire or the collapse.

Even still, structurally deficient bridges plague the state of Georgia. Structurally deficient is defined as a bridge having one or more key elements in “poor” or worse condition – deck, superstructure, substructure, etc.

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Of the 14,790 bridges in Georgia, 729 of are classified by ARTBA as structurally deficient — that is about 5 percent of the Peach State’s bridges.

Down here in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, which includes, Appling, Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Coffee, Columbia, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Laurens, Montgomery, Richmond, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, and Wheeler counties, is home to 1,645 bridges and 64 of them are said to be structurally deficient.

That is a mere four percent.

Even more interesting, according to the American Road and Transporation Builders Association:

  • 100 bridges, or 6%, are classified as functionally obsolete. This means the bridge does not meet design standards in line with current practice.
  • 156 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • Over the last 10 years, 102 new bridges have been constructed in the counties in this district; 15 have undergone major reconstruction.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 1,518 bridges in the counties in this district, which the state estimates will cost $3 billion

Here is the list of structurally deficient bridges in the 12th Congressional District:


County Year Built Daily Crossings Type of Bridge3 Location
Richmond 1966 18,160 Urban minor arterial Windsor Spring Rd over Spirit Creek
Richmond 1975 5,770 Urban local road Marks Church Road over Raes Creek
Richmond 1964 5,760 Urban local road Warren Road over I-20
Coffee 1955 5,170 Rural minor arterial SR 32 over 17 mile River
Coffee 1955 5,170 Rural minor arterial Lewis C. Adams over Otter Creek
Coffee 1955 4,820 Rural minor arterial Matilda Gross Br. over Hurricane Creek
Coffee 1955 4,370 Rural minor arterial SR 32 over Bear Creek
Appling 1948 4,180 Rural arterial US 1 over Altamaha River
Richmond 1914 3,840 Urban minor arterial 7th Street over Augusta Canal
Toombs 1947 3,840 Rural arterial US 1- SR 15 over Altamaha River O/F
Toombs 1947 3,840 Rural arterial US 1- SR 15 over Williams Creek
Coffee 1955 3,090 Rural minor arterial SR 32 over Bear Creek
Bulloch 1970 2,560 Rural minor collector Cypress Lake Road over Dry Branch
Richmond 1931 2,410 Urban collector 5th Street over Savannah River
Toombs 1948 1,980 Rural major collector Thompson Pond Rd over Swift Creek Trib.
Richmond 1940 1,570 Urban local road Goodrich Road over Canal Spillway
Burke 1954 920 Rural major collector Quaker Road over Walnut Branch
Screven 1987 890 Rural major collector Rocky Ford Road over Horse Creek
Burke 1959 720 Rural major collector Thompson Br Road over Brier Creek
Bulloch 1965 600 Rural local road Akins Pond Road over Mill Creek
Evans 1960 590 Rural major collector Fas 733 over Scott Creek
Richmond 1975 580 Urban local road Scotts Way over Raes Creek
Richmond 1970 500 Rural local road Lane Rd over Coys Creek
Evans 1993 500 Rural local road Fs-15 over Canoochee River
Laurens 1950 490 Rural local road Walke Dairy Road over Turkey Creek overflow
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Jessica Szilagyi is statewide contributor for All On Georgia and Market Manager for Southeast Georgia. Her main focus with All On Georgia is state and local politics as well as agriculture. She’s served as a policy analyst at the State Capitol and as a campaign manager in political races across the state.

She writes for and has two blogs of her own: ‘The Perspicacious Conservative’, a political blog, and ‘Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers’, a blog on moving from Atlanta to rural Georgia. Jessica is also a contributor for Fox5 Atlanta’s ‘Like it Or Not.’