New York City Bridges Falling Apart Or Whatever

In the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse, our very own Governor ordered a review of all the Empire State's spans. Guess what? Everything's falling apart! More than 2,000 are listed as "deficient," and, here in town, 16 of the 19 biggest bridges are only rated as fair or poor. Those assessments come from city inspections last year, so unless things can fix themselves, they're probably slightly worse. Among those receiving a rating of "poor" are the Tappan Zee and the Brooklyn Bridge. How bad is the city's most iconic overpass? Lori Ardito, first deputy transportation secretary, says it's not what you think.

Ms. Ardito said "poor" did not mean a structure was at risk of collapse. At the Brooklyn Bridge, the major problem is the roadway deck on the ramps, and not structures that support the roadway. She said a more complete rehabilitation was expected to start in 2010.

"The poor rating for the Brooklyn Bridge means that there's only components of the bridge that are in poor condition," she said. "They're actually the ramps leading to the bridge, not the span of the bridge."

Got it? You'll be just fine, providing you can actually make it onto the bridge. And if you're not swallowed up by collapsing ramps by 2010, everything will be perfect again! This city's seal should be a guy shrugging his shoulders with whatever the Latin is for "Whaddya gonna do?"' emblazoned across it.

In Ways Large and Small, Many Bridges Meet Definition of 'Deficient' [NYT]