May 7 - An analysis of the 2013 National Bridge Inventory database released by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has found that more than 63,000 bridges in the USA are in need of structural repair.
The analysis found that the 63,000 structurally compromised bridges are crossed by vehicles in North America 250 million times every day, with the most heavily travelled on the Interstate system.
The chief economist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says that the problem could get a lot worse as states across the nation face a slowdown in reimbursements for already approved federal-aid highway projects.
Without congressional action, Alison Premo Black indicated that there would be no Highway Trust Fund support for any new road, bridge or public transportation projects in any state during FY 2015, which begins on October 1.
"Letting the Highway Trust Fund investment dry up would have a devastating impact on bridge repairs," said Black. "It would set back bridge improvements in every state for the next decade."
While these bridges may not be imminently unsafe, ARTBA suggests that they be sign posted so that the public knows they have structural deficiencies that need repair.
State specific bridge information from the analysis, including rankings and location lists of the 250 most heavily travelled structurally deficient bridges in the nation and the ten most heavily travelled in each state, is available online at www.artba.org/economics/state-bridge-profiles