While I don’t drive over bridges too often here in the Chicagoland area, I thought Chicago-area readers should be made aware of an article published Wednesday by Art Golab and Rosalind Rossi on the Chicago Sun-Times website that noted 73 bridges in Chicago and 326 bridges in the metro area are “structurally deficient” according to 2012 federal bridge data. Golab and Rossi reported:
The nation is littered with such bridges— structures in need of “significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement,” according to a recent Transportation for America study that urges dedicated federal money for bridge repair…
Statewide, the Transportation for America study put the number of structurally deficient Illinois bridges at 2,311, or nearly 9 percent the state’s total bridges. That compares with 11 percent nationally.
From a Transportation for America press release yesterday:
Nearly 67,000 of the nation’s 605,000 bridges are rated “structurally deficient” and are in need of substantial repair or replacement, according to bridge inspections analyzed in The Fix We’re In For: The State of the Nation’s Bridges 2013. Nearly 8,000 are both structurally deficient and “fracture critical”, meaning they are designed with no redundancy in their key structural components, so that if one fails the bridge could collapse. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the backlog of troubled bridges would cost $76 billion to eliminate.
The report ranks states and the District of Columbia in terms of the overall condition of the their bridges, with one having the largest share of deficient bridges, 51 the lowest. Twenty-one states have a higher percentage of deficient bridges than the national average of 11 percent. The five states with the worst bridge conditions have a share over 20 percent: Pennsylvania has the largest share of deteriorating bridges (24.5%), followed by Oklahoma (22.0%), Iowa (21.7%), Rhode Island (21.6%), and South Dakota (20.3%).
At the other end of the spectrum, five states have less than 5 percent of their bridges rated structurally deficient: Nevada and Florida lead the rankings with 2.2%, followed by Texas (2.6%), Arizona (3.2%), and Utah (4.3%).
You can access the bridge report on the Transportation for America website here.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
Golab, Art and Rossi, Rosalind. “Report: Busiest ‘structurally deficient’ bridge in area is Kennedy Expy. over Ashland.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 June 2013. (http://www.suntimes.com/20828373-761/report-busiest-structurally-deficient-bridge-in-area-is-kennedy-expy-over-ashland.html). 20 June 2013.
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