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Mapped: Nearly 8,000 Future Job Sites in America?

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Experts say the work required to reinforce the US bridges most in need of repair could create 1.2 million construction jobs.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL With unemployment, already a scourge, now creeping upwards in some election swing states, politicians on both sides of the aisle owe some consideration to a project and website created by one New York lawyer.

Barry B. LePatner, founder of the construction company LePatner & Associates, has identified 7,980 places in America where workers are needed.

LePatner is the creator of SaveOurBridges.com, an undertaking launched partly in response to the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis five years ago. That infrastructure failure led to the deaths of 13 people, commuters on the bridge during rush hour traffic one August evening in 2007. Another 145 people were injured. But the I-35W, before its collapse, was just one of thousands of bridges across the US that were -- and still are -- known to be in desperate need of repair.

The Federal Highway Association, or FHA, maintains a database of some 600,000 US bridges. Of these, LePatner has drawn special attention to only those 7,980 that are designated both "structurally deficient" and "fracture critical."

"Fracture critical means they were designed in the '60s and '70s, so that if one member, one critical member fails, the entire bridge goes straight down. There's no redundancy to support the bridge," he recently told National Public Radio.

Click on the image below to see where the most worn-out bridges are located:



Greater New York area residents will recognize the Brooklyn bridge, and many others, on the list. There are an average 160 bridges per state in need of shoring up. In many states, urban bridges -- the ones most heavily used -- pose the most urgent threats to public safety.
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