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New report finds 70,000 structurally deficient bridges in the US

Nearly 70,000 US bridges are “structurally deficient”, and 18,000 of those are in traffic-heavy metropolitan areas, lobby group Transportation for America has said in a new report.

Those 18,000 urban bridges account for 75% of journeys that are made on structurally deficient bridges in the US. Transportation for America said Congress must take action to provide resources for the repair and maintenance of these potentially dangerous structures.

The report found that Pittsburgh, Philadelphia was the area with the overall highest percentage of deficient bridges (30.4%). Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (19.8%) topped the chart for metropolitan areas with a population between 1-2M, and Tulsa, Oklahoma (27.5%) was ranked highest for deficient bridges in a metropolitan area with a population of between 500,000-1M.

“The poor condition of our bridges is a problem that is not going away,” said American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) president elect Andy Herrmann. “Most of the nation’s bridges were designed to last 50 years, and today roughly a third are already 50 years or older.”

The US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimated that the backlog of potentially dangerous bridges would cost $70.9bn (£44.7bn) to eliminate, while the federal budget for bridges amounts to slightly more than £3.2bn per year.

  • The full report can be downloaded here.

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