AMMON, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A Bonneville County bridge traveled by thousands every day is getting the ranking of Idaho's most “structurally deficient” bridge.
According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the 17th Street bridge over Sand Creek in Ammon is the worst bridge in the Gem State.
The city of Ammon says the bridge has a 52 percent rating from the federal government. Each day, 23,000 people travel across it. A city engineer said plans are in the works to repair or replace the bridge.
Eastern Idaho has nine of the top 25 worst bridges in the state, according to the report but the Lincoln Road Bridge over Sand Creek in Bonneville County was replaced last year. The report ranks it as the 11th-worst bridge.
“It is important for viewers to know what is out there but it isn't always the most accurate,” Lance Bates, assistant director for Bonneville County Road and Bridges said.
The report writers at American Road and Transportation Builders Association said they compiled the information using data provided by the Idaho Department of Transportation from 2016. ARTBA said it is possible that the bridge was replaced after the data was released.
The U.S. Department of Transportation defines "structurally deficient" as when one or more key bridge components (e.g. the deck, superstructure, or substructure) is in "poor" condition.
The 17th Street bridge's damage is visible to the naked eye since the guardrail is broken in several places and hanging out away from the bridge.
In Bonneville County, the state inspects 100 of the county's hundreds of bridges every two to three years.
“There is a lot of bridges and structures in Bonneville County so having us make sure where each and every one is on any given day is pretty tough to track,” Bates said. “Our bridges are in very good condition and we strive to keep the bridges in good condition.”
One bridge not on the list but a concern for Bates is the Great Western Bridge on 33 North in the county.
“It is an old bridge,” Bates said. "It has been in place for, I think, close to 70 years and it has just reached its useful life.”
The report from American Road and Transportation Builders Association also found 10 percent of Idaho's bridges are functionally obsolete. To fix every bridge in the state would cost about $2 billion. The report found the most functionally deficient bridges tend to be in rural states with Republican leadership.
Nationwide, there are 185 million daily crossings on nearly 56,000 structurally deficient U.S. bridges, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.