Georgia has three bridges similar to the collapsed Washington br - CBS46 News

Georgia has three bridges similar to the collapsed Washington bridge

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FORSYTH COUNTY -

The bridge that collapsed in Washington state is a type of truss bridge categorized as functionally obsolete. Georgia has three similar bridges: Browns and Bolling bridges in Forsyth County and the SR 47 bridge in Lincoln County. 

The three bridges are inspected each year by the state, which is twice as often as others bridges and twice as often as what's required. The Georgia Department of Transportation said when the bridges were built, they weren't designed to handle today's traffic and loads. 

Every few seconds a car travels over Browns bridge.

"I have to go across it to go to work, so there's no other way around," driver Justin Lovins said.

It's over Lake Lanier on the Hall/Forsyth County line. The truss bridge is one of three in Georgia that's outdated, or functionally obsolete. It is also considered fractural critical. The same characteristics of the Washington state bridge. 

"On that bridge, if a truss member is critically damaged, it could cause that bridge to collapse. It doesn't mean it would necessarily collapse, but it could cause it to collapse," Natalie Dale with GDOT said.

GDOT said drivers need to pay careful attention to the weight and height limits.

"It is vital that not only truckers, but the traveling public who have overweight, oversized loads pay attention. Those signs are there for a reason," Dale said. 

Tammy Haas doesn't like bridges. Period. And said she's especially fearful of Browns bridge.

"That's why I'm scared. Because you never know when they're going to collapse," Haas said. 

Lovins warns people to watch out for certain vehicles.

"Be careful of the 18 wheelers, because they get over the yellow line a little too much, so they don't hit the trusses," Lovins said.

Browns bridge was built the same year as the one in Washington, in 1955. GDOT wants to assure people Georgia's three bridges are closely monitored.

"Our bridge engineers are experts at what they do. They would not put the Georgia public on a bridge that was unsafe for them to be over," Dale said. 

All thee of bridges are scheduled to be replaced by 2018. That plan was in place before the collapse in Washington.

Georgia has nearly 15,000 bridges. Close to 2,000 fall into the category of outdated or functionally obsolete.

To check the inspection report of a bridge in Georgia, click here.

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