Audit finds some Michigan bridge inspections lacking

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LANSING, Mich. An audit finds some Michigan bridges classified as being in critical condition aren't being inspected as frequently or as thoroughly as they should be.

The Michigan Department of Transportation agreed with findings from the state Auditor General that inspections of bridges need to be improved.

MDOT is required to inspect more than 5,800 state-owned bridges at least every two years.

The auditor's report Friday says MDOT didn't have sufficient processes for ensuring inspectors consistently increased the frequency of inspections for structurally deficient bridges. MDOT also didn't provide consistent guidance to inspectors for bridges where plywood decking is used to prevent broken concrete from falling onto traffic.

The report recommends MDOT pursue legislation to set the frequency for risk-based bridge inspection, allowing for longer inspection intervals where warranted to improve efficiency.