How Many Texas Bridges Are Listed in Poor Condition?

TxDOT says all bridges in Texas, even those with poor ratings, remain safe for travel

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After a snow-covered bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Friday morning, many around the country are wondering how safe the bridges are in their community.

Bridge inspections in Texas are done at least every two years, and while all bridges in the Lone Star State are considered safe, some are in better condition than others.

Looking at the latest numbers from the Texas Department of Transportation, there are several dozen bridges in "poor" condition across North Texas.

  • Dallas County has 3,212 bridges with 33 listed in poor condition.
  • Tarrant County has 2,417 bridges with 15 listed in poor condition.
  • Collin County has 1,117 bridges with two in poor condition.
  • Denton County has 950 bridges with seven in poor condition.
    See the list from the US DOT here.

Statewide nearly 800 bridges are listed in poor condition, according to TxDOT. However, a poor rating doesn't mean a bridge is necessarily unsafe to drive on.

TxDOT said in a written statement, “A bridge classified as poor or structurally deficient that is open to traffic is in need of some maintenance, repair, or rehabilitation, but is safe to continue carrying traffic. All bridges in Texas remain safe for travel, and TxDOT would take immediate action to close any bridges that presented immediate safety concerns to the traveling public.”

Nur Yazdani, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, told NBC 5 Friday that he thinks Texas bridges are overall safe but must be maintained.

"They look at bridge pavement,” Yazdani said, describing what an inspection includes. “They look at the railing. They look at the underside of the bridge, beams, columns, foundations, and also the soil condition around the bridge."

Yazdani said Texas bridges rank better than other parts of the country.

"Texas bridges are in much better shape. Our transportation infrastructure is in much better shape than the northeast," Yazdani said. "Our bridge infrastructure is newer so the problems are less. But even then we need attention to those kind of structures."

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