Gov. Spitzer ordered the immediate inspection of the 49 deck truss bridges in New York similar to the Minnesota bridge that collapsed earlier this week, but city politicians are stressing that New Yorkers have nothing to fear from their bridges. Despite the fact that the majority of the city's bridges were ranked only fair to poor in their most recent survey, Mayor Bloomberg insisted that they are perfectly safe. In a radio address, the mayor actually pointed out that the condition of city bridges was improved from just a few years ago. "We used to have - about 10 years ago - we had 40 bridges that were rated poor. That is down to three." He also emphasized that the Brooklyn Bridge––the only major crossing to receive a ranking of poor––was only in need of work on its ramps and that the suspension bridge itself was in perfect condition.
Councilman John Liu, who is the chairman of the City Council's transportation committee said that he would not hesitate to cross any of the city's bridges, but admits that questions about their safety linger and has scheduled a hearing on the matter for early September. A 2006 Dept. of Transportation report on the city's eight deck truss bridges found one of them, the Brooklyn Bridge, to be in poor condition. Four were deemed fair and the West 207th St. bridge over the Harlem River received a rating of good. Ratings for the remaining two were unavailable.
(Brooklyn Bridge in fog, by sklose at flickr)