A database of the nation’s bridges compiled by The Washington Post found that Kern County has 42 bridges that structurally deficient and 57 that a functionally obsolete.
The database is based off a federal inventory of bridges from 2015 and was compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, and only accounts for federal safety standards. The newspaper admits that some local inspectors may have different opinions about bridge safety.
In Kern County, 554 bridges were deemed safe. Just some of the Bakersfield area bridges deemed structurally insufficient:
- In Bakersfield, the Oak Street overpass crossing the train tracks
- The east and west bound Highway 58 bridges crossing railroad tracks just east of Union Avenue.
- State Route 204, or Golden State Avenue, where it crosses the Kern River. The bridge was constructed in 1933 and rebuilt in 1954.
- Highway 99 crossing at Gilmore Avenue
- Southbound Coffee Road/Gosford Road crossing the Arvin-Edison canal.
The newspaper reported that 6.4 percent of the bridges in Kern County were structurally deficient, which is better than the national average of 9.4 percent. In Kings County 4.3 percent of its bridges were structurally deficient, while Fresno County had 6.9 percent of its bridges deemed structurally deficient.
Nationally, places like Boston had numbers above the national average with 11.7 percent structurally deficient and 54.5 percent functionally obsolete.
To learn more about the database visit The Washington Post website.