A new report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) finds that 36% or about a third of the nation’s 620,000 bridges need major repair work or replacement.
According to Axios, deferred maintenance, climate change and heavier-than-anticipated traffic are causing bridges to wear out earlier than expected, and engineers say not enough is being done to keep drivers safe. More than 43,500 U.S. bridges are in poor enough condition to be deemed “structurally deficient,”
- Those bridges are crossed 167.5 million times a day.
- Chunks of concrete fall from bridges with some regularity, and routine inspections often reveal problems that prompt authorities to shut down lanes of traffic or close off a bridge to heavy vehicles, to reduce the weight burden.
- A bridge collapse last week in Pittsburgh — on the same day President Biden visited the city to talk about infrastructure — highlighted the problem, but engineers say it’s a bigger issue than many Americans may realize.