Iowa has thousands of structurally deficient bridges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A decade after a deadly freeway bridge collapse in Minneapolis, a study has found that thousands of Iowa's bridges are deemed structurally deficient.

The Des Moines Register reports that a study released in February by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that almost 5,000 of the state's more than 24,000 bridges are rated as structurally deficient. That means one of the bridge's key elements — such as the deck, superstructure or substructure— is in poor or worse condition.

Most of those bridges are in rural areas and farming communities that see relatively low traffic.

State officials say a 10-cent-per-gallon state fuel tax increase enacted in 2015 will help fund improvements. The tax generates about $200 million for state and local road and bridge projects.