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Thursday, August 9, 2007
Dallas bridge inspections under way
DALLAS — State inspectors came to Dallas Tuesday morning to begin a thorough examination of highway bridges.
The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis last week has heightened safety awareness across the nation.
With some 6,000 bridges, Dallas County has more than any county in the state. Using a "snooper" crane, a team of three inspectors began examining the State Highway 310 span Tuesday morning.
The bridge, with a steel girder construction dating back to the 1950s, requires an annual inspection. Engineers say the adjacent Interstate 45 bridge, built with concrete, can go two years between inspections.
"Obviously, we're looking for cracks, we're looking for stains, we are looking for shearing," said Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Ball. "If there's pylons on the ground, we're looking to see how much erosion has occurred and if there's been accidents. If there's been an incident we're attempting to see if any damage has occurred to the actual concrete itself."
Of the 50,000 bridges in Texas, only 16 were built using the same construction technique as the one that collapsed in Minnesota. Those structures have already been inspected.
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