Report: More than 25% of U.S. Bridges in Trouble

Nov 13, 2009

The Better Roads Bridge Inventory survey for 2009 harbors some bad news: Over 150,000 bridges in the U.S. have been judged to be “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” There are less than 598,000 bridges in America. That means 25.7% aren’t in very good shape. It turns out that the state with the most structurally deficient or functionally obsolete (SD/FO) bridges is Texas, with 9,564 such bridges. However, Texas is almost half the size of Alaska and therefore has a lot of bridges, but the percentage of Texan SD/FO bridges is 19%. And that’s significantly lower than the national average.

The leading state in SD/FO bridges was, well, not a state, but the District of Columbia.  The survey states that 55% of the bridges in the nation’s capital are likely to fail or fall down sooner than later. The actual State with the highest percentage of bad bridges is Rhode Island with 53%. Pennsylvania takes second place with 39%.


The worst part about all of this data?  All of these numbers may on the low side of estimates.


You can read the full detailed survey results here.


Photo courtesy of James Duckworth under the Creative Commons License.