While many are worried about the safety of our bridges, folks also want to know what it takes to build a bridge these days.
California has over 24,000 bridges. More than 3,700 of them were built around the same time as the 1967 bridge span at the Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis.
As years go by things constantly change, and that, of course, applies to the way bridges are builtlike the Portola Avenue bridge in Palm Desert.
“When we’re building bridges we want to be proactive,” says bridge inspector Carlos Quiroz. “We can’t wait for something to go wrong to make it right.”
Quiroz, who has been dealing with bridges for years, says building a bridge along isn’t an easy task.
In fact, he says the requirements are stricter than they were 40 years ago.
“From the start, every material here from concrete to the foundation, every part of the bridge gets submitted for approval. It all boils down to safety.”
And since we do live in earthquake country, Caltrans officials say bridges in the Golden State are safer than those in other states.
That’s because they’re built to withstand earthquakes.
“Everything that’s factored into building this bridge is based on earthquakes.”
And in order to withstand a major rumble, Quiroz says bridges in the California are now built using sturdier material.
Caltrans says all of their bridges are inspected once every two years. Problems are fixed immediately.