NC ranks among worst in U.S. for structurally deficient bridges

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Thousands of bridges across North Carolina are considered structurally deficient -- many of them in Charlotte -- and lawmakers are starting to take the first steps in figuring out how to pay for the desperately needed repairs.

There are 15 bridges in Mecklenburg County that need help, and one of worst is the Interstate 277 bridge over Brevard Street.

President Donald Trump has proposed spending a trillion dollars on infrastructure projects, and Democrats said they want to work together because the work could create 15 million jobs.

North Carolina is the 8th worst state in the country for bad bridges, with 17 percent listed as functionally obsolete, meaning they don't meet current design standards.

[Top 10 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in each state]

Another 12 percent are structurally deficient, meaning a critical portion of the bridge is in poor condition.

When the House Transportation Committee met in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, the chair told Channel 9 that they want to target existing bridges before building new ones.

“We're not about doing all kinds of new roads, we're about the system we have today,” said Bill Schuster. “Let's fix it, make sure it's in good repair.”

The key issue is funding. The committee is considering ideas like new user fees on roads and airports, or increasing the gas tax, while President Trump has mentioned partnering with the private sector.

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