New Report: 5 Percent of Washington’s bridges are structurally deficient; more reason to applaud 2015 transportation package

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) reports that 5 percent of Washington’s bridges are structurally deficient

The 2017 Bridge Report summarizes conditions in Washington:

  • Of the 8,178 bridges in the state, 392, or 5%, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in “poor” or worse condition.
  • 1,700 bridges, or 21%, are classified as functionally obsolete. This means the bridge does not meet design standards in line with current practice.
  • 257 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
  • Federal investment in Washington has supported $2.7 billion for capital improvements on 826 bridges between 2005 and 2014.
  • Over the last 10 years, 664 new bridges have been constructed in the state; 113 have undergone major reconstruction.
  • The state has identified needed repairs on 1,626 bridges, which the state estimates will cost $2 billion.

 According to the ARTBA press release,

  • Iowa (4,968), Pennsylvania (4,506), Oklahoma (3,460), Missouri (3,195), Nebraska (2,361), Illinois (2,243), Kansas (2,151), Mississippi (2,098), Ohio (1,942) and New York (1,928) have the most structurally deficient bridges. The District of Columbia (9), Nevada (31), Delaware (43), Hawaii (64) and Utah (95) have the least.
  • At least 15 percent of the bridges in eight states—Rhode Island (25 percent), Iowa (21 percent), Pennsylvania (20 percent), South Dakota (20 percent), West Virginia (17 percent), Nebraska (15 percent), North Dakota (15 percent) and Oklahoma (15 percent)—fall in the structurally deficient category.

More on the report in USA Today.

Policymakers in Washington in 2015 adopted a comprehensive transportation package to make necessary improvements in the state’s transportation infrastructure, including bridges. As our Connect report shows, we have a ways to go yet. The ARTBA report confirms the wisdom of state leaders in acting to provide the funding necessary to begin making progress.