ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)–A close call brings a close look at Maryland bridges. State highway inspectors were out today searching for potential danger signs following a concrete failure that struck a car earlier this week.

Alex DeMetrick has more on the bridges under inspection and the potential risk to drivers.

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This bridge carrying Rt. 100 traffic over Oakwood Road in Anne Arundel County is one of 27 being inspected.

For many, this is the second time in a year they’ve been examined, because the wear and tear here, is similar to the damage that shook loose a chunk of concrete from this bridge over the Capital Beltway, sending debris into a car’s windshield.

“Most of the impact was on the front hood and the front glass, it was right directly in front of me,” said Katherine Dean.

The engineering term is “structurally deficient”.

“Which doesn’t mean they’re in imminent danger of collapse. It’s just that there sort of on a watch list,” said Dr. Charles Schwartz, UM School of Engineering.

In Maryland, there are 5,300 bridges, 2,900 of them maintained by the state. 82 have been rated structurally deficient and are slated for work, including the 27 being inspected following this week’s accident.

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“To look for some of the scenarios where you have a deteriorating, older top of a bridge called a deck, over the traffic,” said Valerie Burnett EdgaR, SHA spokesperson.

That brings temporary fixes like planking below bridge decks. It’s an on-going issue WJZ has been tracking for years. From close-up visual inspections to hands on fine tuning.

“The steel right there is rusting and you hear that different noise.”

The Beltway bridge over Liberty Road was an example where repairs were no longer enough to guarantee safety.

“This bridge is very, very close to its safe life span.”

“All of our governors, including Governor Hogan, are committed to having the money available to us to fix those bridges,” said Dave Buck, SHA spokesperson.

The two characteristics all 27 bridges share are their ages, all were built prior to 1969, and the fact all span heavily trafficked roads below.

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Maryland’s bridge status is the best on the east coast, with just 3% falling into the category of structurally deficient.