SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico's salty ocean air is corroding dozens of bridges across the U.S. territory, weakening the structures and posing a challenge for officials trying to prioritize repairs.
A review of federal data by The Associated Press shows that the island has 31 bridges considered fracture critical and structurally deficient. The fracture critical designation means those bridges have no redundant protection and could collapse if just one vital component fails.
Javier Ramos is the director of Puerto Rico's Road Authority and said that while officials are planning to fix all 31 bridges, the structures are still safe and he would have closed them if they were not.
He said most of those bridges need to have their concrete slabs replaced, as corroding metal rods are snapping and weakening their structures.