Official talks about agency's bridge response

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By AP

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Updated: Fri, 06 Jun 2014 01:15:17 EST

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware's transportation secretary says that in retrospect, he would have preferred that his agency moved more quickly to inspect a major highway bridge that was closed because supporting columns are tilting.

Transportation secretary Shailen Bhatt (SHAY-lin Baht) told The Associated Press on Friday that the Interstate 495 bridge in Wilmington was not in danger of imminent collapse.

A private engineer first reported problems with the bridge to the transportation department on May 29. Bhatt says senior managers became aware of the report the next day and ordered an inspection Monday. That's when the bridge was closed indefinitely.

Bhatt says he would have preferred the state engineers had gone out May 29. But he says officials closed the bridge in time.

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