LANSING (AP) "" The state of Michigan is sending inspectors back out to look at four bridges in the aftermath of a bridge collapse in Minnesota.

State officials made the announcement Thursday, while stressing that Michigan's bridges are safe despite hundreds of them being considered structurally deficient.

"If we had any concern about any bridge we would close it, or enhance that structure to make sure it was first and foremost safe," Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said Thursday at a news conference in Southfield.

The bridges under review are of a similar style to the one that collapsed in Minnesota, spanning the Mississippi River. The collapse killed at least four people, with dozens injured or missing.

All four of the Michigan bridges have been inspected in the past year. The bridges are:

•US 23 over the Ocqueoc River, southeast of Cheboygan.

•M-55 over the Pine River, east of Manistee.

•M-26 over the Eagle River, north of Houghton.

•US 2 over the Cut River, northwest of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula.

Even before the Minnesota incident, groups interested in improving the state's roadways had been calling for more spending to fix Michigan's system.

"From the reports we have seen, we in Michigan are among the worst," said Keith Ledbetter, director of legislative affairs for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, a group that has pushed for more road spending in the state.

Ledbetter said he is confident Michigan's bridges are safe to drive on and that the Michigan Department of Transportation "does the best it can" with the bridge repair resources available to it. But MITA says the high percentage of Michigan bridges with deficiencies demonstrates that more must be done.

About 16 percent of Michigan's nearly 11,000 total bridges are "structurally deficient," according to a 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation. That compares to about 12 percent nationwide.

About 28 percent of Michigan's bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, compared to about 26 percent nationally, based on the federal report.

State transportation officials said Thursday nearly 500 bridges are structurally deficient. That number does not include local bridges.

Many of the states with the highest percentages of total structurally deficient bridges, including Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, are in the Northeast and Midwest. The bridges not only tend to be older than in other parts of the nation, they also are subject to some of the worst weather for roads.

"We have so many bridges that are 40 or 50 years old," said Venkatesh Kodur, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Michigan State University. "The environmental conditions don't help. Bridges need regular maintenance."

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