After a tugboat and its four heavy barges slammed into the Queen Isabella Causeway nearly six years ago, killing eight motorists, lawyer Michael Slack wondered if past boat accidents had weakened Texas' longest bridge. The Texas Department of Transportation said he wasn't entitled to an answer.
"There are sometimes very frustrating limits imposed on safety information, and I think it should be available," said Slack, a lawyer hired by the city of South Padre Island and local businesses after the tugboat accident cut off the island from the mainland.
Federal officials provide some facts about the reliability of bridges across the United States. The public can find out the latest inspection date of a bridge, its location, when it was built and whether it is structurally sound.
But when it comes to finding out more details about Texas' 50,000 bridges, the public can't read actual
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