Research Rest-Stop │ New Report Evaluates Deficient Bridges

Every Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) highlights some interesting research related to or innovations in transportation, sustainability, or energy.

Today, we look at Transportation for America’s recent report and accompanying article on the condition of bridges in the United States. The report looks at more than 18,000 of the busiest bridges across the nation’s largest 102 metro areas to determine their structural integrity.

According to the study, Pennsylvania has a high number of structurally deficient bridges.

“Pennsylvania leads all other states in the nation with six metropolitan areas with a high percentage of deficient bridges. Pittsburgh leads the way with 30 percent of area bridges rated deficient – higher even than the state average of 26.5 percent. It is important to note that these numbers would be worse without the intensive bridge repair program implemented by Pennsylvania in the last several years, including a quadrupling of state funding for bridge repairs.”

Other interesting findings of the report include:

  • In the United States, “210 million trips are taken daily across deficient bridges in just these 102 regions.”
  • “California leads the nation with the busiest deficient bridges. In Los Angeles, for example, 396 cars drive across a structurally deficient bridge every second of each day, on average.”
  • “According to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s 2009 statistics (the most recent year for which national data is available), $70.9 billion is needed to address the current backlog of deficient bridges.”

Do you agree with these findings? What do you think are good ways to address these issues?


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