Just Fix It Wisconsin

Some bridges in Dane County in poor condition 4/3/2016

4/1/2016, WMTV-TV Madison (video) – According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, of more than 14,000 bridges in the state of Wisconsin 9% of those are in poor condition. A number of those bridges are in Dane County.

“Bridge decks start falling, you got pieces of rubble flying around,”Jerry Derr, said.The President of the Dane County Towns Association is worried that it’s only going to get worse “By the time they get these bridges down from here to Stevens Point, they can go back to the Illinois border and start over again.”

According to ARTBA 3 of the 25 most traveled bridges, in poor condition, are in Dane County.

“Our concerns are we’re running way behind on maintaining our bridges. A lot of these interstate bridges were built in the early 60’s, a lot of those are coming up on their useful life.” A useful life Derr fears the state won’t be able to afford to revive. “We need to work with the legislature and the Governor’s office to recognize, we need to fund these projects and move ahead.”

An issue the WiDOT Director of Bureau of Structures can agree with.

“Certainly the funding we have really been getting less and less over the years. So certainly it doesn’t go as far to buy the materials for bridges,” Scot Becker, Director of Bureau of Structures, said. “So funding is always a challenge, but we prioritize bridges first over the roadway work in the state because of the safety.”

But Becker assures all 14,000 bridges are being monitored and some are already being repaired, including a few on ARTBA’s list.

“We have a really comprehensive inspection and maintenance program that really determines what the action, or work actions we need and then we program them over a 6 year program. So we really do keep a good eye on our bridges.”

NBC15 reached out to Governor Scott Walker’s office for comment on this issue. His staff referred us to the Department of Transportation.