Dozens of Tennessee bridges red-flagged in collapse survey

View from Bridge 2 on the Foothills Parkway near the Blount/Sevier County lines. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Federal data show that dozens of Tennessee bridges are among the thousands nationwide that have advanced deterioration or are at risk of collapsing.

That works out to a small percentage of the state's total bridges, but it could be enough to cause concern among drivers who travel them regularly.

The Associated Press analyzed data involving 607,380 U.S. bridges in the National Bridge Inventory. They are subject to National Bridge Inspection Standards. The most recently available data show that on a national basis, 65,605 bridges fall into the structurally deficient category. More than 20,800 are categorized as fracture critical.

Some 7,795 bridges nationwide fall into both categories. Experts call that combination particularly problematic.

In Tennessee, 64 of the state's 19,721 bridges listed on the federal inventory are in both red-flag groups.

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