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Many of California's Counties and Cities Cannot Afford to Retrofit Bridges

According to the results of an investigation by the LA Times, hundreds of bridges in California that are maintained by city and county agencies remain at risk for collapse should a major earthquake hit nearby. The newspaper reports that the local governments do not have the funds to repair or reinforce bridges under their jurisdiction.

&quotA Times review of state and county records found that nearly 600 bridges and overpasses that officials identified as being at the highest risk for collapse in a major temblor have yet to be reinforced,&quot the newspaper reported March 12. &quotThey include several landmark spans in Los Angeles, such as the Hyperion bridge in Silver Lake and the Art Deco 6th Street bridge across the Los Angeles River downtown.&quot

Part of the problem, the LA Times says, stems from a 2002 state decision to eliminate a transportation fund that was earmarked for city and county bridge retrofit projects. There still is federal money available for such projects, but most local governments cannot even afford the required matching funds.