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Over 54,000 American bridges structurally deficient

Staff Writer | January 29, 2018
The nearly 48,000-mile Interstate Highway System literally moves the U.S. economy.
American bridge
Transportation   It would take 37 years...
It carries 75 percent of the nation’s heavy truck traffic. A new report finds there is the equivalent of one “structurally deficient”-rated bridge, on average, for every 27 miles of our major highway network. The 1,800 structurally deficient Interstate bridges are crossed 60 million times daily.

When it comes to bridges needing attention, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

According to an analysis of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s just released 2017 National Bridge Inventory database, 54,259 of the nation’s bridges are rated structurally deficient. If placed end-to-end, they would stretch 1,216 miles, or nearly the distance between Miami and New York City.

Cars, trucks and school buses cross these 54,259 compromised structures 175 million times every day, the data show.

The pace of improving the nation’s inventory of structurally deficient bridges slowed this past year. It’s down only two-tenths of a percent from the number reported in the government’s 2016 data.

At current pace of repair or replacement, it would take 37 years to remedy all of them, says Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), who conducted the analysis.


 

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