The county issued a statement in the wake of the Wednesday bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minn.
By Friday, five were confirmed dead, and 28 remained hospitalized, and officials said as few as eight might be missing, lower than an earlier estimate of 30 missing.
Ninety of the 112 bridges on a Georgia Department of Transportation report submitted to Floyd County in April 2006 received a safety rating of fair or higher, county officials reported Friday.
According to the federal governments 2006 National Bridge Inspection report, 14 of the more than 170 bridges listed in Floyd County received a rating of less than 50.
Once a bridge has a rating of 50, that sends up a yellow flag to us that that is a bridge that we need to start looking at, said DOT spokesperson Crystal Paulk-Buchanan. We notify the counties to let them be aware of what issues might be there so that they know what they need to do to plan for repairs.
The federal report includes bridges on state and federally maintained highways, while the 2006 DOT report the county and city of Rome received did not.
Some repairs and renovations have been made since that report was issued, officials said.
In the aftermath of a tragedy of this nature, it is normal to ask questions about the safety of the bridges in ones own community, said Floyd County Commission Chairman Jerry Jennings. That is especially true for us as we live in a river city with many bridges that serve as important links in our own transportation system.
We would like the public to know that Floyd County government, along with the Georgia Department of Transportation, takes seriously the assessment of bridge and the repair/replacement of those bridges, if necessary, in a timely fashion.
DOT inspects every bridge in Floyd County once every two years, and the county works closely with the state to make repairs and upgrades, said Floyd County Manager Kevin Poe.
The collapsed bridge in Minneapolis was built with a steel-truss design, and only two similar structures exist in Georgia, Paulk-Buchanan said. Those are the Jerry Jackson Bridge, which crosses Lake Lanier along Ga. 53, and a smaller two-lane bridge over an abandoned railroad track along Ga. 190 in Talbot County, near Manchester, she said.
Inspectors reviewed the Lake Lanier bridge two months ago and gave it a 78 rating, Paulk-Buchanan said. The Talbot County span underwent inspection in January and received a 74 rating, she said.
The three worst-ranked local bridges in the federal report were: the Riverside Parkway bridge crossing Burwell Creek, which has since been replaced, 4.8; Crescent Avenue bridge in Silver Creek, 6.0; and the Ga. 156 bridge spanning Johns Creek near Gordon County, 17.4.
Repairs should be made relatively soon on the Crescent Avenue bridge, Rome City Manager John Bennett said.
We are very confident that the bridges that our residents travel on every day are very safe, Paulk-Buchanan said.
From this terrible tragedy, hopefully we can learn something about this man-made structure that maybe we didnt know a week ago, she said. Perhaps it will make our bridges safer for years to come.