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1 in 12 Wis. bridges need repairs, public policy group says

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A public policy group says one-of-every-12 bridges in Wisconsin need some type of repairs.

The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group says over 1,100 bridges throughout the Badger State are structurally-deficient, according to federal standards.

The group’s Kyle Bailey says over 33-hundred bridges are at least 50 years old – and their age indicates that many are likely in need of replacements or repairs.

The Public Interest group issued its report as Congress considers President Obama’s request for 447-billion-dollars in infra-structure improvements, tax breaks, and other stimulus efforts.

Bailey said bridge projects normally create more jobs than highway expansions – and bridge repairs would be a wiser use of tax dollars.

The group’s findings do not appear to be much different than a formal review of Wisconsin’s bridges by the Legislative Audit Bureau in 2008.

It found that four-point-two percent of state-owned bridges were structurally-deficient – and that DOT officials were doing a poor job of monitoring bridge repairs by counties.

The audit was in response to the collapse of the Interstate-35-W freeway bridge just north of downtown Minneapolis in August of 2007.

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