Minn. still struggles with deteriorating bridges

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — More than half a billion dollars in spending is not keeping up with Minnesota’s need to repair and replace its deteriorating bridges.

The Star Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/12XEMaV ) Minnesota has seen a bigger jump in the number of deficient bridges than all but a few other states, raising concerns about fixing them.

Federal data show Minnesota has 1,191 troubled bridges, up 3.5 percent from 2011. Most are under county or local control but rely on state and federal funding for much of their maintenance and repairs.

The Legislature in 2008 passed a gas tax increase that provides $866 million for bridge repair and replacement. Of that, $532 million already has been spent.

Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle says the state will need to find new money when that tax increase expires in 2018.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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