Iowa ranks #1 nationwide with most structurally deficient bridges

01 February, 2018, 00:31 | Author: Joy Garcia
  • Percentage of bridges structurally deficient
Green 0- 4.9%
Yellow 5- 8.9%
Orange 9% or higher

At least 15 percent of the bridges in six states-Rhode Island (23 percent), Iowa (21 percent), West Virginia (19 percent), South Dakota (19 percent), Pennsylvania (18 percent) and Nebraska (15 percent)-fall in the structurally deficient category.

8 on Your Side looked through the report and learned several Tampa Bay area bridges made the list.

"The bridge has been functionally obsolete for quite a while and we've been doing load restrictions on it so that we didn't have anyone putting themselves in danger by running large trucks and stuff like that over it", City Engineer and Public Works Director Robin Bobzien said.

"Structurally deficient" means that one of the bridge or elevated roadway's key elements is in "poor or worse condition", per Federal Highway Administration standards. In the analysis of the declining condition of bridges across the nation, NY is ranked as 10th worst, with 1,837 structurally deficient bridges representing more than 10 percent of the state's total bridge count of 17,456 bridges.

The Sarasota County bridge in question, according to the ARTBA study, has 24,750 daily crossings and is classified by ARTBA as a rural interstate bridge, of which there are 577 in Florida. The bridge was built in 1961.

The map above shows the percentage of bridges rated structurally deficient.

• The state has also invested 22.4 percent of highway and bridge contract awards. The national average for that portion is 29 percent.

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• In the past 10 years in Florida, 1,357 new bridges have been built while 612 have had some major repairs.

The bridges are among 693 the state has identified as in need of repairs, with a cost estimate of $1.7 billion.

Alison Premo Black, chief economist for the ARTBA who conducted the report, said in a press release that it would take about 37 years to fix all of the nations bridges.

The pace of improving the nation's inventory of structurally deficient bridges slowed this past year. In anticipation that President Trump's State of the Union address will include a building program, Dr. Hes expected to discuss the countrys crumbling infrastructure. Traffic bottlenecks, she says, costs the trucking industry alone over $60 billion per year in lost productivity and fuel, which "increases the cost of everything we make, buy or export".

The report was part of a larger effort by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association looking at bridge infrastructure across the country.

"It really comes down a failure of leadership in Congress to address some of these issues and provide additional funding", Black told NBC News.

A newly released study is once again pointing to the need to revamp the nation's infrastructure.

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