2014 Bridge Inventory Online Exclusive: How the 2014 numbers compare to 2013 numbers

Updated Jan 31, 2015

BetterBridges_logoBetter Roads published its 2014 Annual Bridge Inventory in the November 2014 print edition. (The digital edition will be uploaded soon so keep checking back for it at www.BetterRoads.com. For a downloadadble PDF of the print version, click here.)

Funding remains the No. 1 impediment to improving structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges, but time restrictions and a greater need for preventive maintenance are also problematic.

The Better Roads Bridge Inventory is an exclusive, award-winning annual survey that has been conducted since 1979. Bridge engineers from every state and Washington, D.C., are sent a survey with both qualitative and quantitative questions. The Federal Highway Administration, in consultation with the states, has assigned a sufficiency rating, or SR, to each bridge (20 feet or more) that is inventoried. Formula SR rating factors are as outlined in the current “Recording and Coding Guide for Structures Inventory and Appraisal SI&A of the Nation’s Bridges.”

The qualitative data are gathered through a questionnaire about major issues concerning bridge conditions and maintenance. For the FHWA’s explanation of what makes a bridge structurally deficient and how a bridge becomes functionally obsolete, go to http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/2008cpr/chap3.htm#7. Better Roads’ editorial staff would like to thank all the state highway engineers for their continuing cooperation and special effort to provide current data. The data was collected through October 2014 FHWA, in consultation with the states, has assigned a sufficiency rating to each bridge (20 feet or more) that is inventoried.

We weren’t able to fit all the data we gathered and analyzed in print, so we’re going to continue our coverage and analysis online.

Here is a comparison of last year’s numbers versus the numbers reported this year by the state Departments of Transportation: