CHESAPEAKE-- A new report shows the condition of Deep Creek Bridge is getting worse and the structure needs to be replaced.

According to engineers, the sufficiency rating of the bridge dropped from about 60 percent to 40 percent, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

The rating means there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored, but it doesn't mean that it is likely to collapse.

While the bridge is not inherently unsafe, the bridge does not have enough lanes, adequate lane widths, or shoulder widths to serve the current traffic demand.

Every day, about 27,000 vehicles travel across the two-lane bridge on Moses Grandy Trail east of George Washington Highway.

The Deep Creek Bridge is 80 years old, built in 1934 to cross the Dismal Swamp Canal.

A design for the new proposed bridge is 90 percent complete, but there is not money available to start construction. The new bridge will be another draw bridge, still requiring lifts, officials said. Partial funding to start right-of-way acquisition was approved.

The construction cost estimate for the bridge replacement is being refined; however, based on the most recent design, total project funds in the amount of approximately $50 million would be needed for replacement of the new bridge.

'At this time, we do not know if this project will be funded for construction, as there are many projects throughout the country that also require construction funds,' Gerald Rogers, Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson said.

The federal government owns the Deep Creek Bridge and the Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of operation.

Virginia bridges must be inspected at least once every two years to look for signs of deterioration, including cracking concrete, deterioration of beams and rusting steal. Bridges with lower sufficiency ratings are inspected more frequently.

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