More than 54,000 bridges along the Interstate Highway System in the United States were rated as “structurally deficient,” according to new analysis conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA). This was just one of many of the concerning statistics detailed by ARTBA in its 2018 Deficient Bridge Report on Jan. 29.
- The average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years, compared to 40 years for non-deficient bridges.
- Repair needs are identified among one in three U.S. bridges (226,837 total) and one in three bridges (17,726) along the Interstate Highway System (IHS).
- There is the equivalent of one “structurally deficient” bridge for every 27 miles of the 48,000-mile IHS, which carries 75% of the nation’s heavy truck traffic.
The ARTBA report echoes the results of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for 2017, wherein the U.S. received a performance of D+ based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement. As reported by Risk Management magazine in 2017, the U.S. spends only 2.5% of its gross domestic product on infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that, over the next 10 years, the gap between planned investments in infrastructure and investment needs could exceed $2.1 trillion, with the largest investment gap in the transportation sector, followed by schools, electric utilities and water/wastewater systems.