A new digital initiative by the Michigan Department of Transportation makes bridge safety data more accessible to Michiganders.
The Michigan Bridge Conditions Dashboard provides up-to-date information on more than 11,000 bridges throughout the state, including locally-owned bridges.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called for increased transparency in government as well as improved infrastructure. MDOT officials cite this new interactive as achieving both goals.
In a press release, head of MDOT Bureau of Bridges and Structures Matt Chynoweth said, "We're very excited about the new dashboard. This supports both the governor's and state transportation director's objectives of transparency in government. It's a great tool, allowing the public to easily look into the condition of any bridge, MDOT or locally owned."
Users can sort data on the dashboard based on bridge location, status, ownership, and quality rating.
More from the MDOT press release:
Federal law defines a bridge as a structure carrying traffic with a span greater than 20 feet. The law also requires that all bridges be inspected at least every two years to monitor and report condition ratings. These ratings are based on a 0-9 scale and are assigned to each culvert and each deck, superstructure and substructure of each bridge. Bridges rated from 7 to 9 are designated "good," while ratings of 5 and 6 are "fair," and ratings from 0 to 4 are in the "poor" category.
The dashboard is connected to a database providing the most current information, so Michiganders can see the status of a bridge in real time.