- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - More than $10 million in state funds will be spent on work on nearly 80 rural bridges listed as deficient, the Kansas Department of Transportation said.

The 77 bridges, rated deficient because they aren’t able to handle legal load limits, are scattered across 75 counties, The Wichita Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/1vdeBZh ). Some reasons for a rural bridge not being able to withstand legal loads are outdated designs or deterioration, according to the transportation department. Of the nearly 25,000 bridges in the state, less than 10 percent, or 2,390, are considered structurally deficient.

Not all were eligible for state funding. To qualify, a bridge had to have a daily vehicle count of less than 100 and a length between 20 and 50 feet.

“These bridges might have low traffic numbers,” transportation department secretary Mike King said in a statement, “but they are important to the farmers that use them to get their equipment to fields and crops to market.”

State funding is capped at $120,000 per bridge, or at $160,000, if two bridges are being worked on by the county or city. The state provides 90 percent of the funding while the county or city provides the remaining 10 percent, the department said.

In Sedgwick County, the total cost of replacing its bridge near Viola is $400,000. The county will pay for the remaining $280,000.

The bridge has a rating of 47.5 on a federal scoring scale of 100, said Public Works Deputy Director Jim Weber. He said federal law requires bridges to be inspected every other year.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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