How Safe Are California’s Bridges?

Tuesday’s bridge collapse in Baltimore has people thinking about the safety of thoroughfares across the nation. How safe is California from a similar tragedy? It depends on where you go.

California is home to the two busiest ports in the country: the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. The Vincent Thomas and Long Beach International Gateway bridges at these ports are shorter than the Key bridge that collapsed in Maryland. Along with their position, this makes them less vulnerable to a Baltimore-style tragedy, professor James Fawcett told the Los Angeles Times. Because of the state’s susceptibility to earthquakes, support columns on many of the state’s major bridges have been retrofitted, making them a lot stronger.

The Golden Gate Bridge is more comparable to the Key Bridge in terms of structure, but it’s also heavily fortified, experts say. It has “the most robust protection system of any bridge on the West Coast,” Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, director of public affairs for the Golden Gate Bridge, told SF Gate.

On the other hand, San Diego County is home to 51 bridges which are in poor condition, according to Scripps News. A report from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association further estimates that 6% of California’s bridges are structurally deficient. 

Below is a list of the most traveled bridges that are considered structurally deficient by ARTBA.

  • Bridge at Interstate 110 over Slauson Ave. and BNSF Ry in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at U.S. Highway 101 over Kester Ave. in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at Interstate 405 over Vermont Ave., 190th St. in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at Interstate 805 over Telegraph Canyon Drain in San Diego
  • Bridge at State Route 134 over Pacific Ave. in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at State Route 57 over BNSF Ry Amtrak, Metrolink in Orange County
  • Bridge at State Route 55 over Lincoln Ave. in Orange County
  • Bridge at Interstate 710 over Los Angeles River in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at Rte 110 over Torrance Blvd. in Los Angeles
  • Route 105 & Lrt over Wright Road in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at Interstate 80 over Dan Wilson Creek in Solano County
  • Bridge at Interstate 80 over Suisun Creek in Solano County
  • Bridge at Route 580 over Piedmont, Broadway, Rich in Alameda County
  • Bridge at Interstate 5 over Rte 163 Connectors in San Diego County
  • Bridge at Route 580 over Martin Luther King Jr Way in Alameda County
  • Bridge at Interstate 680 over Rudgear Rd. in Contra Costa County
  • Bridge at Interstate 680 over Las Tampas Creek in Contra Costa County
  • Bridge at Interstate 680 over Lilac Dr. in Contra Costa County
  • Bridge at Interstate 680 over Olympic Blvd. in Contra Costa County
  • Bridge at U.S. Highway 101 over Cordilleras Creek in San Mateo County
  • Bridge at Interstate 680 over El Pintado Rd. in Contra Costa County
  • Bridge at State Route 210 over Met Water Dist. Pipeline in Los Angeles
  • Bridge at U.S. Highway 101 over Conejo School Rd. in Ventura County
  • Bridge at U.S. Highway 101 over Hampshire Rd. in Ventura County
  • Bridge at Interstate 680 over El Cerro Blvd. in Contra Costa County

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Monday, January 29, 2024 - 11:03

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