Maryland Orders Targeted Bridge Inspections

Maryland's acting transportation secretary has ordered inspections of all state-owned bridges that are similar to one that had a piece of concrete fall off this week on to a car below it.

Pete Rahn, acting transportation secretary, said Thursday the directive for 27 bridges will help the state immediately identify any bridges in need of repair.

Officials said 82 bridges have been found to be deficient.

The inspections will start immediately and take several days.

Each inspection will involve teams of specially-trained bridge inspectors to identify and repair any loose concrete. The bridges that are being inspected were all built before 1969 and have traffic underneath.

On Tuesday, a piece of concrete fell onto a car driving along Suitland Road in the Capital Beltway. The driver was not injured.

"I want to extend my sincere apologies to the driver involved in Tuesday's incident," Rahn said Thursday. "I am grateful she was not injured."

Some minor repairs were made to that bridge Wednesday. Officials had said it was still safe to drive on and underneath, but have now changed their minds.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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