(KSLA) - Eight bridges along Interstate 20 in Shreveport-Bossier City are considered structurally deficient.
That's the finding of a report released by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
To make matters worse, the eight spans are among the busiest in Louisiana.
"I am not surprised at all," a state highway department spokeswoman said. "They're old and we know that."
All of the Northwest Louisiana bridges detailed in the association's report were built during the 1960s.
"All of those bridges are inspected on a regular cycle. And they're inspected by our crew that's specifically trained and certified to do so," said Erin Buchanan, of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
The association's report rates the nation's bridges on a scale of 0 to 9.
Zero denotes a failing grade; 9 means excellent.
The association's report rates the Northwest Louisiana spans at 4, meaning they are structurally deficient.
"Certainly when you hear the term 'structurally deficient' on anything you're driving over, you wonder to yourself 'Is this safe for me to be on?'" Buchanan said.
The state's inspections show that the bridges in question, despite their age and poor rating, are safe for travel, she continued.
"If the bridge is open for travel, then yes it is safe for it to be on," Buchanan said.
"If you look at the report, you can't help but say to yourself 'This work needs to be done'," Buchanan said.
Toward that end, work is expected to begin in the coming weeks on a $3.8 million project in Bossier.
"All of the bridges in that section of I-20 will be rehabilitated," Buchanan said. "So that's going to be a major project to address some of these issues."
The association's report also includes: