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KIMT NEWS 3 – Nearly 1.7 million people in Iowa drive over a deficient bridge every day.
And for State Representative Josh Byrnes that’s something no one should be happy about.
“You know with a ranking like that it just makes you really nervous to think about in the state of Iowa. I don’t know if it’s a matter of if it will ever happen but when it will happen, when we hear a bridge that collapses in the state of Iowa. It’s not a ranking to be proud of,” said Byrnes.
Byrnes is the head chair of the Transportation Board, and as you can imagine he has been paying very close attention to what’s happening outside the statehouse.
“Nobody likes to see their taxes increased, and but at the end of the day no matter what in order to fix these infrastructures like the bridges, taxes are going to be increased in some way, shape or form. Something is going to be increased to make up for that,” said Byrnes.
Mitchell County Engineer Richard Brumm says these deficient bridges could be one’s you’re driving over every day.
“They’re becoming unsafe because their just getting old. We’ve got some bridges that were or still are in service built in 19-08. That’s a long time they were a little bit different designed back then,” said Brumm.
The average age of an Iowa’s bridges is 44 years old.
While the average age of a deficient bridge is 69.
“The real answer is money. We could us more money to take care of this stuff but there’s not enough of it around,” said Brumm.
But now that the word is out about Iowa’s deficient bridges he hopes to see some change.
And Representative Byrnes says he won’t stop pushing this issue while he’s in office.
“It is important whether it’s located in downtown Des Moines or if it’s located in rural Worth County. I mean we need to address all the infrastructure needs across the state of Iowa and take a look at them,” said Brynes.
Brumm says in Mitchell County alone, out of more than 100 bridges, 26 of them have some type of restriction on them.
The report listed Pennsylvania as first for worst bridges.
Following right behind is Oklahoma.
Minnesota comes in at 32 on the list.