Alabama spends $80 million a year on bridge repair and replacement, but there’s an estimated $15 billion in work needed

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The state of Alabama spends about $80 million a year on bridge replacement and repair, the state Department of Transportation says.

But a recent study found that it would take about $15 billion to address all of the bridge repair work needed in the state.

The issue is in the news again with the bridge collapse tragedy in Florida.

There are no Alabama projects attached to the bridge’s builder, Munilla Construction Management, according to the Alabama DOT.

The Florida International bridge designer is Figg Bridge Engineers out of Tallahassee.  They are well-known firm.  They've done two bridges in Mobile, the Africatown Bridge and the Dauphin Island Bridge, AL.com reports.

Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris, said Alabama is required by federal law to inspect all of its bridges every two years and some bridges get an annual inspection.

There’s a lot to inspect.

Figures show Alabama has about 1,200 “structurally deficient” bridges, out of about 16,000 statewide, that’s 29th in the country. Structurally deficient means the bridge contains a significant structural defect.

The most traveled structurally deficient bridge in Alabama is the I-65 overpass at U.S. 11 – 2nd avenue. An estimated 136,000 cars a day travel that bridge.

Madison County doesn’t have any bridges that make the deficient list’s top 15 most traveled

Madison County has 690 bridges, 675 are rated good or fair, 15 are in poor shape, and 27 have a structural deficiency, a study found.

The DOT’s Harris said Alabama’s replacement program includes between eight and 15 bridge replacement projects going at any one time.