All across the United States and especially in Florida, bridges are used to span waterways and shorten commute times from hours to mere minutes. But while our country’s bridges are in use everyday and desperately needed to maintain our way of life, they are often neglected to the point of failure. Below, we’ll discuss the common causes of bridge collapse. For any questions regarding construction defects on bridge projects, consult with a Ft. Myers construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
Due to their location, bridges are exposed to less than ideal conditions that include air pollution, inclement weather, and damaging saltwater. These stressors have a particular impact on the steel that is embedded in and used to reinforce these mammoth structures. Corrosion alone accounts for nearly $500 billion of damage a year to America’s overall infrastructure, much of which threatens the structural integrity of our bridges.
Past Their Prime
All told, there are 178 million bridge crossings in the U.S everyday. The cyclical pressure applied by vehicles, especially semi-trucks, takes its toll. This is of particular concern for aging suspension bridges. Furthermore, many of America’s bridges were built over 50 years ago, and are expected to perform past their planned lifespan. Traffic has only increased in the years since they were constructed. These bridges were simply not designed to handle this influx in traffic. As bridges age, the chance of collapse only increases. Unfortunately, it’s often not until after a bridge has collapsed that government agencies concern themselves with stepping up inspections.
For this reason, it’s imperative that construction companies take the initiative in preventing and detecting bridge defects. As we continue this discussion in part two, we will further discuss the common causes of bridge collapse and how construction companies can protect themselves from being accused of negligence in the face of a bridge defect. For expert representation that can defend you from a construction defect claim, consult with the Ft. Myers construction lawyers from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.