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PennDOT inspectors begin precautionary bridge inspections after earthquake

Published August 24. 2011 05:02PM

PennDOT bridge inspectors in each of the agency's 11 districts are doing precautionary inspections of bridges around the state after yesterday's 5.9 magnitude earthquake that was centered near Richmond, Virginia.

"We have no reason to believe the Virginia earthquake caused major damage to any state roadways or bridges," said Scott Christie, P.E., PennDOT's Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration. "But to err on the side of caution, we are assessing those bridges that could be susceptible to quake damage."

The first bridges to be inspected are those that are at least 200-feet or longer and at least 60-feet high. PennDOT is starting these inspections immediately and will continue through at least tomorrow.

In Berks County, police closed the Penn Street Bridge in Reading after noticing cracks in the pavement on the bridge approach but the cracks may have been there before the earthquake. PennDOT inspectors will thoroughly assess the bridge to make sure it was not damaged.

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