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Number of deficient Oklahoma bridges continues to drop

July 2, 2019
In this June 6, 2018 photo, traffic traffic along Interstate 44 crosses an overpass at S. 33rd West Ave. in Tulsa, Okla. Officials said Monday, July 1, 2019, that the number of structurally deficient bridges in Oklahoma has dropped from about 1,170 in 2004 to 132. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Officials say the number of structurally deficient bridges in Oklahoma has dropped from about 1,170 in 2004 to 132.

Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz told a state transportation panel Monday that Oklahoma now ranks 13th in the U.S. for fewest deficient bridges in its highway system.

About 6,800 bridges are part of Oklahoma’s system, a number that doesn’t include other spans operated by local entities such as city and county governments.

Gatz says the state Department of Transportation began setting more money aside in 2006 for bridge repairs, and lawmakers provided additional funding a few years later.

He says a finding that a bridge is deficient doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dangerous for motorists to cross. It’s an indication that some part of the bridge, such as the driving surface, needs improvements.

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