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th cOuNcil O tat gOvrNmNt
J u N e 2 0 1 3
America’s Inrastructure: Bridges
America’s deteriorating infrastructure has been an ongo-ing concern for many years. The May 2013 collapse of a bridge in Washington was the latest event to peak theinterests of the public and policymakers about the state,safety and nancing of bridges and roads in the U.S.
While the number o bridges deemed to be defcient has beendeclining over the past decade, more than 10 percent o thenation’s bridges remain in need o repair or update.
•The average age of the 607,380 bridges in the U.S.is 42 years.
•The percentage of bridges deemed decient has beendecreasing for the past decade as states and cities haveincreased efforts to prioritize repairs and replace-ments.
In 2005, 13.1 percent of bridges were struc-turally decient and 15.1 percent were functionallyobsolete.•In 2012, 11 percent of the bridges throughout the U.S.were classied as structurally decient, while 14 per-cent were classied as functionally obsolete.•The Federal Highway Administration estimates thatthere is a nearly $8 billion annual gap between whatfederal, state and local governments would need tospend and what is actually being spent to eliminate thenation’s decient bridge backlog by 2028.
•Although nearly 25 percent of the nation’s bridges areconsidered decient (structurally decient or function-ally obsolete), many of them are large-scale, urbanbridges that carry a high percentage of the nation’strafc. For example, the nation’s 66,749 structurally de-cient bridges make up slightly more than one-tenth of the total number of bridges, but one-third of the totalbridge decking area—how bridge size is measured—inthe country.
Defciency levels on state-owned bridges vary signifcantlyacross the country.
•States with the lowest percentage of state-ownedstructurally decient bridges by count include Texas,0.8 percent, and Florida, 1 percent, while states withthe highest percentage of state-owned structurally de-cient bridges include Pennsylvania, 20.5 percent, andRhode Island, 19.7 percent.•States with the lowest percentage of state-owned func-tionally obsolete bridges by count include Nebraska,2.5 percent, and North Dakota, 2.8 percent, whilestates with the highest percentage of state-ownedfunctionally obsolete bridges include Massachusetts, 47percent, and Hawaii, 34.1 percent.•When taking bridge size—known as decking area—into account, levels of deciency change. That is, stateswith the lowest percentage of state-owned structurallydecient bridges by decking area include Nevada, 0.9percent, and Georgia, 1.6 percent, while states withthe highest percentage of state-owned structurallydecient bridges by area include Rhode Island, 25.5percent, and Connecticut, 16.9 percent.•States with the lowest percentage of state-ownedfunctionally obsolete bridges by area include NorthDakota, 3.8 percent, and Minnesota, 7.3 percent, whilestates with the highest percentage of state-ownedfunctionally obsolete bridges by area include Massa-chusetts, 43.5 percent, and New York, 40.5 percent.