Bridge safety in BX scrutinized after Minn. collapse

Posted: Updated:

A fatal Minneapolis bridge collapse into the Mississippi River has Bronx drivers wondering if they could one day be in the middle of a similar disaster.

The city Department of Transportation maintains no Bronx bridges are listed in "poor condition." Officials reassure drivers all city bridges are safe.

Still, the department admits the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the city's most traveled, is in poor condition. However, officials explain the structure is safe for drivers to cross. The bridge is expected to undergo a major renovation by 2010.

The DOT says the full inspection of a large bridge can take anywhere from six months to a year. The state DOT inspects bridges every two years.

The official death count from Wednesday's rush-hour collapse stands at four. However, police say more bodies are in the water. Divers continued to search for remains among the debris. Hospital officials say at least 79 people were injured in the tragedy.

The National Transportation Safety Board plans to reassemble pieces of the bridge in its investigation into the collapse. Federal officials say inspectors found problems with the bridge two years ago and classified it as "structurally deficient." The term signifies a bridge is in need of work but not in danger of imminent collapse.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are rushing to get a $250 million aid bill passed to rebuild the bridge.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

Additional coverage of the Minnesota bridge collapse:President Bush comments on the Minnesota bridge collapseCNN/CNN affiliate coverage of Minnesota bridge collapseFootage of Minnesota bridge collapse, courtesy of CNNFootage of bridge collapse aftermath

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