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America's Infrastructure: Bridges

America's Infrastructure: Bridges

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Published by CSGovts
America’s deteriorating infrastructure has been an ongoing concern for many years. The May 2013 collapse of a bridge in Washington was the latest event to peak the interests of the public and policymakers about the state, safety and financing of bridges and roads in the U.S.
America’s deteriorating infrastructure has been an ongoing concern for many years. The May 2013 collapse of a bridge in Washington was the latest event to peak the interests of the public and policymakers about the state, safety and financing of bridges and roads in the U.S.

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Published by: CSGovts on Jun 19, 2013
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07/27/2013

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CAPITOL
act & igur
 traNPOrtatiON
 thcOuNcil O tat gOvrNmNt
 J   u  0  3 
America’s Inrastructure: 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.
1
 
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.
2
 The percentage of bridges deemed decient has beendecreasing for the past decade as states and cities haveincreased efforts to prioritize repairs and replace-ments.
3
In 2005, 13.1 percent of bridges were struc-turally decient and 15.1 percent were functionallyobsolete.In 2012, 11 percent of the bridges throughout the U.S.were classied as structurally decient, while 14 per-cent were classied 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 decient bridge backlog by 2028.
4
 Although nearly 25 percent of the nation’s bridges areconsidered decient (structurally decient or function-ally obsolete), many of them are large-scale, urbanbridges that carry a high percentage of the nation’strafc. 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.
5
 
Defciency levels on state-owned bridges vary signifcantlyacross the country.
States with the lowest percentage of state-ownedstructurally decient 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 deciency change. That is, stateswith the lowest percentage of state-owned structurallydecient bridges by decking area include Nevada, 0.9percent, and Georgia, 1.6 percent, while states withthe highest percentage of state-owned structurallydecient 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.
 
REFERENCES
1
Unless otherwise noted, all data is derived from the Federal Highway Administration.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov 
2”
2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.”American Society of Civil Engineers.
http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/bridges/overview 
3
Ibid.
4
Ibid.
5
Ibid.
Johnny Xu CSG Research Assistant | jxu@csg.org&Jennifer Burnett, CSG Program Manager, Fiscal and Economic Policy | jburnett@csg.org
 thcOuNcil O tat gOvrNmNt
» SrucuryDeficien BriDge
as defned by e Non Bdeinspeon ndds,  bdes sy defen  eesnfn od-yn eeense n poo ondon de o de-eoon o e deqy o ewewy openn poded bye bde s exeey nseno e pon o sn noebe nepons. condon -ns ne o 0 (ed ondon)o 9 (exeen ondon). a soeo 4 o ess ess n  ssfono sy defen. ao bde y be ssfed s s-y defen,  does no ne-essy en  s nse.  bde y en open o ,b  sy eqes snfnnenne nd ep.
» funcinyBSee BriDge
a nony obsoee bde sone  ws b o sndds e no n se ody. tesebdes y no e deqene wds o deqe eenes o see en -f dend, o y osonybe ooded. tese bdes e noneessy nse.
» Deficien BriDge
a bde  s ee sydefen o nony obsoee.
Percentage o Bridges Considered StructurallyDefcient or Functionally Obsolete, 2005-2012
DefInITIOns
:
13.1%12.6%12.0%11.9%12.0%11.7%11.4%11.0%15.1%15.0%14.8%14.8%14.5%14.2%14.0%14.0%
0%5%10%15%20%25%30%35%20052006200720082009201020112012
StructurallyDeficientFunc<onallyObsolete

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