Comparing Bridge Safety by Jacob

Less then a mile away from our home here in Doyo Baru, Sentani, Indonesia there is a bridge made out of Palm Tree's.  It is getting rickety as it is used countless times a day.  I presume it is unsafe because it leans so much and it sags, but people still drive over it.  It made me think of the bridges in America and the safety inspections of them compared to here. 
(This bridge is about 1.3 miles from our home and is much safer.  It is made out of steel.  Don’t let the misplaced planks fool you!)
In America they have inspections of the bridges about every two years.  The things that they are inspecting are: lanes too narrow, no shoulder, peeling paint, and cracks or weaknesses in the key supports of the bridge.  In America bridges often have a second support system to keep the bridge from collapsing.  They have even thought of putting in sophisticated sensors to monitor the usage and safety of the bridge. 
Here in comparison in Papua, they don't seem to inspect the bridges regularly.  This bridge near my dwelling place would not meet American inspections because it is only a one lane bridge, has no shoulder and is narrow.  No high sophisticated sensors are in the supporting beams.  Also there is no back up, secondary, support system.  The bridge slowly is pulling away from its main support base on the banks.  The boards are cracking.  Nails are coming out of the boards and they are covered in mud along with beetle nut juice.  I have to ask myself, "Is this safe?"  "Where is the inspector?"  "Does anyone know that it is not safe?  "Does anyone care?"

There is an alternative route, for the big trucks and the people who are willing to drive through it.  The alternative route is a river fording.  We choose to go through the river now because I am sure that it is safer. 


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