Two local bridges deemed structurally deficient, but still safe to cross

MEDFORD, Ore. - Two local bridges in southern Oregon are being deemed structurally deficient.

A new report by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association says that thousands of bridges across the country, two in our region, are being considered structurally deficient.

The Caveman Bridge in Grants Pass, one of the most traveled in southern Oregon, was built in 1931 and has about 32,000 cars crossing it daily.

Gary Leaming with ODOT says the agency is aware of the issues and is working on solutions.

"In the case of the Caveman Bridge, it's lasted over 90 years without a major face lift. So, again starting this summer we're going to go and we are doing a major face lift on it," Leaming said.

The bridge mentioned in the report is in Jackson County - located on Barnett Road over I-5. It was built in 1962, and has nearly 15,000 cars crossing it every day.

When expanding the search to the north, the steel bridge from I-5 to I-84 and Multnomah Blvd over the freeway are also bridges included in the list as being in 'poor condition'

The report says that more than 350 bridges are obsolete and don't meet current structural standards.

"As these bridges age, we're going to see more and more become structurally deficient, because as they get older, they start to deteriorate. To do everything we can, we're going to be inspecting them," Don Hamilton with ODOT said.

He says that structurally deficient does not mean unsafe - he says the bridges are safe to cross.

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