Bridges to Nowhere

April 26th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect:  According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), 63,000 U.S. bridges are structurally deficient and in need of repair.  These are currently bridges connected to somewhere but are in danger of becoming "bridges to nowhere" like the bridge pictured below which collapsed last year in Washington state.  According to ARTBA, with no congressional action to fund the federal Highwway Trust Fund there will be no new bridge repair work started in fiscal 2015 (starts October 2014).


Follow up:

The heaviest concentration of dangerous bridges are in the central part of the country and the northeast, although Hawaii and North Carolina are also in the "red zone".


The following table shows the ranking of states according to number of deficient bridges (left hand side) and percentage of bridges defective (right hand side):

The nation's 250 most heavily traveled bridges in need of repair are ranked in the following table:

Average annual construction spending on bridges by state over the last ten years is shown on the following map:

The problems with bridges are part of a larger infrastructure problem for the U.S. which has a potential funding shortfall between now and 2020 on more than $1 trillion, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE),  From their study report, now a year old:

Click on table for larger image.

Click on the cover page below to read the complete ASCE report (pdf).

Click to read entire pdf document.

John Lounsbury


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