According to the 2011 report, 32 percent of Vermont's bridges are deficient, compared to a national average of 24 percent. The report cites the age of the structures and a funding gap as two reasons for the grade. Here in the state, inspectors acknowledge a few key problems for Vermont bridges.
"Deck leakage and joint leakage. Salt contamination, and over time, traffic," says bridge inspection team leader Martin Kelley.
Those are a few things the team says causes damage to the bridges. And when they're out analyzing bridges, they look for things such as section loss, holes in the steel, deteriorating piers, and damaged guardrails.
"We'll be looking at the deck, the guardrails, the steel superstructure, the substructure. All the components of the bridge, we'll be looking at," Kelley says.
Kelley acknowledges that more people are realizing the infrastructure isn't as good as it used to be but says it's getting better.
"I mean, we are doing the best we possibly can and if we see something that's wrong or needs to be taken care of we will send a letter out. Or if it's something that has to be done immediately we will contact our supervisors and let them know," he says.
And there's already a project in the works to test how much weight travels over Vermont bridges. At the newly-reopened Richmond bridge, they're gathering data to try to figure out if they're designing bridges to hold the right level of load.
"We have a whole bunch of sensors that we placed along that bridge to analyze the vibrations of the bridge," says UVM Assistant Professor Eric Hernandez. "When cars are going through, and that information we can use to infer about the stiffness and strength of the bridge."
At about a dozen other spots, "weight in motion" stations gather more data.
"They measure the weight of the vehicles passing by. You don't even notice it but they are measuring it. So as they go by the thing, the thing measures how much each axel weighs. And so we have data from maybe 40 million trucks or cars," says Hernandez.
So far, there haven't been any big conclusions from that data because researchers say they have to be very careful, since their results could influence how bridges are designed here in the future.
Thursday, December 12 2013 7:45 AM EST2013-12-12 12:45:10 GMT
Erika LeBlanc and Alyson Rochefort are in the kitchen with us this morning making rugelach. Dough: 1 lb unsalted butter 1 lb cream cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 4 cups all-purpose flour Filling: 1 cupMore >>
Erika LeBlanc and Alyson Rochefort are in the kitchen with us this morning making rugelach.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>