A recent American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) analysis of Transportation Department (USDOT) data on state bridges for 2015 finds 58,500 U.S. bridges remain on the “structurally deficient’ list, or nearly 10 percent of the nation’s approximately 610,000 bridges.
On the bright side, there were 2,574 fewer bridges on the list than there were in 2014. Unfortunately, given the current speed of infrastructure investment, it would take at least 21 years to replace or upgrade the rest of the bridges on the list.
The National Bridge Inventory database, which the U.S. Department of Transportation released in 2015, encourages investors to consider bridges a worthy investment in the future.
The ARTBA analysts said that if the deficient bridges were placed end-to-end, the deck surface would be 1,340 miles long, the distance between Miami and New York.
“The funding made available won’t come close to making an accelerated national bridge-repair program possible,” Alison Premo Black, chief economist at ARTBA, said. “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.”
Improvements need to accelerate to meet the demands of U.S. transportation infrastructure.