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Closer look at Buffalo bridges in "poor" condition

Rusting bridge
Posted at 8:32 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 20:48:39-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 News continues to research the conditions of the more than 80 bridges in Erie County considered to be in poor status and structurally deficient.

A recent months-long report from the 7 News I-Team discovered that 87 of the 892 bridges in Erie County, about 10%, are rated to be in poor condition.

One of those bridges is the section of I-190 that arches of Peabody Street in Buffalo.

From the residential street you can see many cracks and crumbling concrete that exposes rusting rebar.

"Those bridges need to be addressed, because you see what happens," said Congressman Brian Higgins on Friday. He was alluding to Friday's bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, that injured 10 people. That bridge was also listed in poor condition by inspectors.

The New York State Thruway Authority told 7 News on Friday that even though a bridge is listed as poor condition it's still safe, adding, "every bridge located on the New York State Thruway is safe for travel."

The bridge over Peabody Street is approximately 65 years old and was last inspected on October 20, 2021, according to the NYS Thruway Authority. The inspection report is more than 50 pages, and 7 News was told due to security and privacy reasons it cannot be released at this time.

The NYS Thruway Authority said it has "dedicated $326 million in WNY since 2016." Higgins said President Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill will help make repairs and upgrades to old infrastructure locally and around the country.

The NYSDOT issued this statement:
"The New York State Department of Transportation has one of the most rigorous bridge inspection programs in the nation. The state requires all highway bridges to be inspected at least every two years and is one of the few states in the nation that requires bridge inspection teams to be headed by licensed professional engineers who have undergone specific training. In New York State, bridge inspectors assess all bridge components and are required to evaluate, score and document the condition of structural elements as well as the general components common to all bridges."