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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bridge Issues in U.S. Threatens Drivers Wallets

Unless you've been sleeping under a bridge, which isn't a good idea for many reasons, you might not be aware of the fact that much of the United States' infrastructure is beginning to crumble. After the collapse of a Minneapolis, MN bridge last year, the federal government began surveying bridges across the nation and found that 25.4% of bridges were either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Fortunately, over the last calender year, similar surveying and repair work has brought the percentage down to 25%. That might not seem like a large jump, but try to take into account just how many bridges there actually are in the United States.
Topping the list of states with the highest percentage of faulty bridges is Washington DC at 62.9%, followed by Rhode Island and Massachusetts at 55.4% and 51.5% respectively. States with the best bridges are Arizona, Minnesota and Nevada, ranging from 10.1% up to 12%.
Granted, not every bridge that was surveyed as structurally deficient and/or functionally obsolete is on the verge of collapsing. The majority of bridges from the list are not unsafe, they are simply in need of repair and or reconstructive maintenance. There are also a number of legislative initiatives to determine how to address the costs attributed to bridge repair. With all the other costs being racked up by drivers, it will be interesting to see who bears this new burden.