Although Caltrans insists that the thousands of bridges it maintains are safe, the agency has identified 228 spans that officials say should be at the top of the list for repairs.

Officials said these bridges pose no danger of collapse but are considered top priorities for fixes based on such factors as structural problems and how much they are used by cars and trucks.

Those on the list received a "sufficiency rating" by inspectors of lower than 50 -- based on a possible top score of 100. Each bridge's score was calculated by weighing various factors such as structural adequacy and safety, which accounted for 55% of the rating. Other factors include how heavily traveled the spans are.

Of the 228 bridges listed on the "Priority Structurally Deficient Bridge List," 17 are in Los Angeles County. They include the interchange of the 5 and 60 freeways in Boyle Heights, the 5/10/101 split in downtown Los Angeles, the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim lift bridge near Terminal Island in Long Beach and the Santa Monica Freeway viaduct in downtown L.A.

The announcement comes in the wake of the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis that prompted transportation officials and engineers across the country to reinspect their own bridges and rush to guarantee their safety.

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