State of WNY Bridges

May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) More than 70 bridges in Erie County alone are structurally deficient, according to the New York State Department of Transportation. And after Thursday's bridge collapse in Washington, residents are taking note.

Two Buffalo bridges separated by just a hundred yards were both given sub-par grades by the State Department of Transportation. The Bailey Avenue bridge over the Buffalo River as well as the bridge spanning Cazenovia Creek are more than 80 years old, and according to State bridge data, they were scored at 3.5 and 4.5 out of 7 and were dubbed 'structurally deficient' as of last month.

"You just usually think about the roads, not the foundation. Or when it was built. It gets you thinking," DJ Reid said.

"Well you know something built that long ago you would think deterioration, that slowly things are going to break," Robin Ankowski added.

According to the D.O.T. Website, the designations "do not mean the bridges are unsafe, rather that they would require repairs or modifications to restore their condition or improve their functionality."

But cracks in concrete of both bridges, rusted metal, and holes into the pavement of the Bailey Ave. bridges make some residents question their safety. Like Joe Colantuono of South Buffalo, who says he avoids the area because of the bridges.

"It's scary, very scary. Every time you drive over them you wonder, is this the time they're going down?" he questioned.

Those two specific bridges are owned by the City of Buffalo. Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak says the city is waiting on money from the state, totaling 18 million dollars, to make repairs to both bridges.