Houston bridge just a slice of congested, broken Texas pie - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Houston bridge just a slice of congested, broken Texas pie

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Drive over the Yale Street Bridge, and you might notice Houston Police watching you.

HPD is making sure large trucks don't try to come over.  The city has lowered the load limit from 8,000 pounds per axle to 3,000 pounds.  That means even some large SUVs are over the limit.

Jane West, with the Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association, said it's time for the city to close it or fix it.

"Is it safe?" West asked.  "It says to us that if the majority of family-owned vehicles can't cross over it, it can't possibly be safe."

The city is planning to repair the bridge in 2016.  In the meantime, it has stepped up inspections and monitoring.

The Yale Street Bridge is part of a larger picture.  Texas roads and bridges are in trouble, according to TRIP, a non-profit transportation research group.

"18 percent of the state's bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete," Carolyn Bonifas said.  "It's important to note that these bridges are inspected and maintained on a regular basis and are safe for travel, but many of them need extra attention and, in some cases, significant repairs."

Bridges are just part of a larger transportation problem, the report says.  Overall, Texas roads are congested and in lousy shape.  

No roads are more congested than the ones in Houston.  The report claims half of all Houston-area roads are in poor or mediocre condition.  As a result, Houston commuters waste 57 hours in traffic every year.  Rough roads wear down our cars faster.  Combine these factors, and Houstonians are out an extra $1,900 a year.

The report doesn't offer up any solutions except to recommend better funding.

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