ARTBA: 9.5 percent of U.S. bridges structurally deficient

By |  February 18, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 2015 National Bridge Inventory database indicates that there were 2,574 fewer structurally deficient bridges in 2015 than 2014, lowering the current number of structurally deficient bridges to 58,500.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) annual review of state bridge data says about 9.5 percent of the nation’s approximately 610,000 bridges are classified as structurally deficient. ARTBA’s report also explains that, if placed end-to-end, the deck surface of the nation’s structurally deficient bridges would stretch 1,340 miles.

A bridge is defined as structurally deficient if it receives a rating of four or lower in its state inspection.

The states with the most structurally deficient bridges, according to the report, are Iowa with 5,025; Pennsylvania with 4,783; Oklahoma with 3,776; Missouri with 3,222; Nebraska with 2,474; Kansas with 2,303; Illinois with 2,244; Mississippi with 2,184; North Carolina with 2,085; and California with 2,009 structurally deficient bridges. Almost all of the 250 most-heavily-crossed structurally deficient bridges are on urban highways, particularly in California, the report adds.

Alison Premo Black, ARTBA’s chief economist who conducted the analysis, says the recently enacted five-year federal highway bill provides an increase in funding for bridge repairs. However, “the funding made available won’t come close to making an accelerated national bridge repair program possible,” she says. “It’s going to take major new investments by all levels of government to move toward eliminating the huge backlog of bridge work in the United States.”

Read state specific bridge information from ARBTA’s report here.

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About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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