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Have you ever thought about the amount of times you've used a bridge to cross the Red River?  Even if you don't cross it a couple of times every day of the work week (like a lot of people do), I'm willing to bet that you're on one of our bridges pretty frequently.  Do you ever think about how safe they are?  According to the latest numbers, the chance of that span of steel and concrete crumbling underneath your wheels may be higher than you think.

I-495 Bridge Closed Indefinitely Over Christina River in WIlmington
Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
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The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has once again issued their findings on the health of our state's bridges, and Louisiana didn't fare so well.  The 8th Annual Bridge Report places the Sportsman's Paradise in 6th place overall when it comes to bridges considered to be “structurally deficient.

US Dep't Of Transportation Reports That 61,000 Bridges Structurally Deficient
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Using data compiled from the National Bridge Inventory (NBI) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the report ranks each state on the percentage of bridges that are ruled "deficient" in terms of deck condition, superstructure condition, substructure condition, and culvert condition.  Louisiana clocks in at an unnerving 12.8% - which means that more than 12 bridges per 100 in the Boot fall into this category.  In total, we're talking 1,631 of the 12,782 bridges in our state.

Bridges Undergo Inspections Around The Nation
Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
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In Caddo, the bridge crossing I-20 over the St. Louis Southwestern railway, just east of Louisiana Highway 1 made the list, and a reported 84,672 people cross it every single day.  That was the bridge in our area that is the most traveled, and on the list of structurally deficient crossings - but don't think you are in the clear just yet.  There are 5 total entries on this list - including 3 on I-20 in Bossier and 2 in Caddo (the other at I-20 over Lake Shore Drive).  You can see the entire list of Louisiana's crumbling bridges here.

I-95 Interchange Major Infrastructure Project Continues In South Florida
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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To rectify the situation the federal government is pouring $1 billion over the next five years into the problem thanks to the recent federal infrastructure bill.  According to Business Report, $202.6 million of that will be available this fiscal year to invest in fixing and replacing these bridges. Governor John Bel Edwards office says that cash will go to approximately 400 bridges in need of repair or replacement this year alone.

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Louisiana has tons of awesome people and charm. Along with all of the good stuff, we've got some pretty dangerous parts. Below, you'll find the top 10 most dangerous towns in our state based on the likely hood a crime will affect the average citizen living there. Some of these entries are what you'd expect, but others were complete surprises to me. Watch your back as you travel through the Sportsman's Paradise - especially if you happen to pass through these towns.

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