Future bleak for aging county bridges in Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas engineers say federal highway statistics showing their state has more bridge problems than larger states like California don’t tell the whole story of an aging rural bridge system in which small, county-owned spans often can be closed without any major disruptions.

Kansas Association of Counties engineer Norm Bowers says many county-owned bridges are deteriorating because there isn’t enough money to fix them. He thinks half of the state’s rural bridges will be closed in the next 50 years.

Department of Transportation bridge engineer Calvin Reed says state-owned bridges such as the Lewis and Clark Viaduct and Fairfax Bridge, which carry traffic over the Missouri River between Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., are among the older bridges the state is watching for any signs of trouble.

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