State agrees more work needs to be done

Oregon does a better job of maintaining its bridges than most other states, but still has a number that need repairs, according to a report released Wednesday.

'Oregon is one of a few states that spent all of their federal bridge repair money for its intended purpose - and used other available federal money for that purpose,' according to the report released by Transportation for America, a national advocacy organization.

• Click here to read the report "The Fix We're In For: The State of Oregon's Bridges."

According to the report, out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, Oregon ranks eighth best in terms of the overall condition of its bridges. Only 6.3 percent of bridges statewide are rated 'structurally deficient' by the federal government, compared to 11.5 percent nationally.

Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Dave Thompson agrees the state has prioritized bridge repairs, using both federal and state funds to maintain them. Thompson says some bridges need repairs but says the list in the report is out of date.

For example, the report says the Marquam Bridge and Iowa Street Viaduct are 'structurally deficient.' Thompson says the Marquam Bridge was repaired in 2008 and the Iowa Street Viaduct is being repaired.

'The Iowa Street Viaduct is where all the heavy equipment is staging along I-5 in the southern part of Portland,' Thompson says.

Nevertheless, Thompson praises the report for calling attention to a growing national problem - the lack of funds available to maintain and improve bridges and the rest of the country's road system.

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