The Spring Street Bridge in downtown Atlanta carries thousands of drivers to some of the biggest entertainment events in Georgia. It also has deteriorating concrete, “cracking,” “leaching,” a steel support post “loose and relatively free to move” and a sufficiency rating of three out of 100, according to inspection reports.
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A bridge where failure of one part can cause the collapse of the entire bridge or a section of it.
“A fracture critical member (FCM) is a steel member in tension, or with a tension element, whose failure would probably cause a portion of or the entire bridge to collapse.” - Federal Highway Administration
A rating on a scale up to 100 that rates the bridge’s structural condition, its usefulness and other factors.
Can mean significant load-carrying elements are in poor condition or the space underneath is extremely insufficient, causing intolerable traffic interruptions. Does not say a bridge is unsafe but typically requires significant repair to stay in use, and eventual replacement.
Out-of-date design, like an old house that’s not up to code. Not necessarily related to safety at all.
Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Replacing Georgia bridges
Georgia has three fracture critical bridges, all scheduled for replacement within the next five years:
- Ga. 53 over Lake Lanier, at the Forsyth and Hall county line.
Replacement starting fiscal year 2015
- Ga. 369 over Lake Lanier, Browns Bridge, in Forsyth County.
Replacement starting fiscal year 2018
- Ga. 47 over Strom Thurmond/Clarks Hill Lake in Lincoln County.
Replacement starting fiscal year 2014