Transportation Cabinet Says Kentucky's Bridges Are Safe

By: Jeff Gould Email
By: Jeff Gould Email

Transportation officials say the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed rated about 50 on a scale of 100 for stability. Officials say that doesn't necessarily mean the bridge was unsafe, just that some portions needed to be scheduled for repairs.

The bridge collapsed Wednesday during rush hour. At least four died and dozens were injured. The death toll is expected to rise.

"I was in the middle of the bridge I thought I was going into the water. It went so fast, we fell for so long it was unbelievable," said Gary Babineaux who witnessed the collapse.

News of the collapse in Minneapolis has certainly affected many people here in Eastern Kentucky. Several people we spoke with said it’s in the back of their mind now every time they cross a bridge. But a representative with at the transportation cabinet says Kentucky's bridges are safe.

With more than four confirmed dead and as many as 30 missing, the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis has left many here in Eastern Kentucky questioning the safety of our bridges. Officials at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet feel that Kentucky's bridges are safe.

In fact, the transportation cabinet says they inspect every bridge at least every two years, and some every year. Cabinet officials say every bridge meets federal standards and if they don't they are shut down.

Every one of Kentucky's 14,000 bridges are inspected at least every two years and if there's any doubt about their stability, engineers are called in to take a better look.

Here are some tips just in case you are in that worst case scenario. Officials say the first thing to do if your vehicle falls into the water is to stay calm. They say not to try to open your car door until you are completely under water because it will open easily under water but it won't open at all while halfway under. A second option is open your windows as soon as possible then you will have a clear way out once in the water. Finally, no matter what you do, keep your seat belt on until you know what you're doing.

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