BELTON — Five bridges in Bell County are rated as structurally deficient — which means one or more of the key bridge elements is considered to be in poor or worse condition — according to a report from the Washington-based American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
The report uses figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s annual National Bridge Inventory report. The number of structurally deficient bridges across the United States has declined half a percent since the 2015 report, according to a news release.
In Texas Congressional District 31, 1 percent of the 1,584 total bridges are classified as structurally deficient.
The state has identified needed repairs on 596 bridges in Bell and Williamson counties, both of which are in Texas Congressional District 31, according to the association. The repairs cost an estimated $370 million.
States report the cost of proposed repairs for each bridge to the Federal Highway Administration every year.
The five most traveled structurally deficient bridges in Bell County are:
Taylors Valley Road over the Leon River in Belton.
East Amity Road over Salado Creek near Salado.
West Central Avenue over Nolan Creek in Belton.
Bottoms Road over Big Elm Creek near Troy.
Darrs Creek Road over Darrs Creek near Bartlett.
At least 8,770 crossings were made on these bridges in 2016.
The oldest bridge on the list is on West Central Avenue and spans Nolan Creek. It was built in 1920.
Belton spokesman Paul Romer said the Central Avenue bridge is lightly traveled and is used as a way for pedestrians to walk to nearby Yettie Polk Park from downtown.
The transportation association’s report said there were 300 crossings on the Central Avenue bridge in 2016.
The most traffic the bridge sees is during Belton’s Fourth of July celebration, Romer said.
There are no plans to replace the bridge, Romer said.