Nationwide danger from structurally deficient bridges

The American Roads and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has released a list of 55,0710 bridges deemed to be structurally deficient, that statistics say are crossed by vehicles 185 million times per day.

Among the names on the list are some high-profile structures like New York’s Throgs Neck, and Connecticut’s Yankee Doodle.

The list reflects data gathered by the Transportation Department which uses a nine-point scale to score the state of the nation’s bridges.

However, not all the names on the list are immensely dangerous, although they do require more attention.

A little over one quarter of these bridges has not seen major work in almost 50 years; since they have been erected. The data also reveals 13,000 bridges that require widening, replacement, or major reconstruction work.


The analysis was conducted by Alison Premo Black, the chief economist of ARTBA who expressed her concern over the performance of America’s highway system, adding that it is in “desperate need of modernization”.

She also mentioned that specialized departments have not been provided with the needed resources to keep up with the nation’s needs.

The most vulnerable bridges, according to the ARTBA are at Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska 4,968 identified bridges puts Iowa ahead of the other four states.

However, Iowa, like South Dakota, has about 20% deficiency in the structure of its total bridges, preceded by Rhode Island and Pennsylvania with Rhode Island in the lead with 25% deficiency.

The highway trust fund that funds the construction and maintenance of America’s highway system has been unable to meet the demands of said system to cope with the rising efficiency of cars.


According to Elaine Cho, the Secretary of Transport the highway trust fund collects $10 billion less than it spends each year.

The gas tax which primarily funds the highway trust fund is insufficient in correcting this massive shortage of funds and identifying new funding streams have become apriority for state and federal officials.