More than 63,000 U.S. bridges need repair
The most heavily traveled are on the Interstate system. The problem could get a lot worse, the chief economist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) said.
You can see the map of deficient bridges on this link.
Without congressional action, Alison Premo Black said, there will be no Highway Trust Fund support for any new road, bridge, or public transportation projects in any state during FY 2015, which begins October 1.
"Letting the Highway Trust Fund investment dry up would have a devastating impact on bridge repairs," Black says, noting the trust fund has supported $89 billion in bridge construction work by the states over the past 10 years. "It would set back bridge improvements in every state for the next decade. The bridge problem sits squarely on the backs of our elected officials."
"The state transportation departments can't just wave a magic wand and make the problem go away. It takes committed investment by our legislators. Members of Congress need to come to grips with that. Some of our most heavily travelled bridges were built in the 1930s. Most are more than 40 years old."
Bridge decks and support structures are regularly inspected by the state transportation departments for deterioration and are rated on a scale of zero to nine—nine being "excellent" condition. A bridge is classified as structurally deficient and in need of repair if its overall rating is four or below.
While these bridges may not be imminently unsafe, ARTBA suggests they be sign posted so the public knows they have structural deficiencies that need repair.
The ARTBA analysis of the bridge data supplied by the states to the USDOT found that the 250 most heavily crossed structurally deficient bridges are on urban interstate highways, particularly in California. With one exception, all are at least 39 years old. ■