Police launched an investigation when three pieces of the Lancaster Avenue bridge were reported stolen.
The report states while TXDOT inspected bridges in a timely manner and in compliance with federal and state laws, they failed to update load restriction signs on many bridges.
Federal law said load restrictions should be posted on state-owned bridges within 90 days of a bridge inspection, the auditor’s office said.
“Based on a review of 41 postings, the department took an average of 319 days to post load restrictions on state-owned bridges, exceeding the federal time limit by an average of 229 days,” the audit stated.
Bridges in the DFW metroplex went 117 days on average from 2007 to 2009 without the proper signage after inspections, according to data obtained using the Texas Open Records Act.
The worst was in Kaufman County, where TXDOT left two bridges for 320 days after they were inspected without the correct load restriction signs. Those bridges were the US 175 bridge over Kings Creek just two miles northwest of SH 34, and the FM 148 bridge over Big Brushy Creek, almost 4 miles southwest of I-20.
Three bridges in Parker County -- FM 113 over N Rippy Branch, FM 52 over Rock Creek and US 80 over Town Creek -- went 37, 64 and 59 days, respectively.
TXDOT disagrees with the auditors’ findings. Its interpretation of the law requires the signs be posted within 90 days of approval of the posting by the Department -- not 90 days after the actual inspection.