An investigation by MSNBC.com's Bill Dedman shows that at least 17,000 bridges went more than two years between inspections, despite the federal law requiring an inspection every 24 months. The investigation was based on newly released data from the Federal Bridge Inventory which includes inspections through 2006. "Although Congress in 1971 ordered rigorous standards for inspecting bridges every 24 months, the records reveal a system in which the buck is passed down from federal to state to local governments, without penalty for those that fail to protect the public." The investigative package includes an interactive tracker which allows the reader to map the status of bridges on their own frequently travelled routes.
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