Coalition to prop up bridge testing

The Soy Transportation Coalition is offering money to a dozen state departments of transportation to help offset the cost of upgrading to better, more accurate bridge testing equipment.

Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek says bridges that farmers depend on to get crops to market are sometimes unnecessarily posted with weight limits. He tells Brownfield that the bridges need more than visual assessment to determine structural integrity.

“We’re suggesting that departments of transportation and local country governments actually utilize and avail themselves of technology that’s on the marketplace but not being widely utilized to help them better decipher the true condition of their bridges,” said Steenhoek, during an interview with Brownfield Ag News on Tuesday.

Steenhoek says improved bridge testing technology would result in departments of transportation putting maintenance resources where they’re needed most. He says it will also help avoid situations where trips to the market are lengthened because of the need to avoid bridges that have unnecessary weight limits.

The 12 states in line for the financial help are those whose soybean checkoff organizations are members of the Soy Transportation Coalition: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

AUDIO: Mike Steenhoek (8 min. MP3)

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