SNEAK PEEK at the 2013 Bridge Inventory: What causes the most damage to bridges?

Updated Jan 31, 2015


Every year, Better Roads conducts a survey on the state of the nation’s bridges. The survey has been conducted since 1979.

Bridge engineers from every state and Washington, D.C., are sent a survey with both qualitative and quantitative questions to determine the percentage of structurally deficient (SD) and functionally obsolete (FO) by state, by total state and interstate and by city/county/township.

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. The data below were gathered through the qualitative segment of the questionnaire.

(For the full report on the results of the 2013 Bridge Inventory, see the November 2013 print edition of Better Roads or go to the Better Bridges section of

Here is a look at what causes the most damage to bridges, when given the options of (A)ge (C)orrosion (T)raffic and (O)ther.

Minnesota A
Mississippi A
Nevada A
Oregon A
Maryland A
Alabama A
New Hampshire AC
New York AC
Rhode Island AC
West Virginia AC
North Carolina ACT
Tennessee ACT
Arizona ACT
New Mexico AO
Pennsylvania AOCT
Utah C
Oklahoma C
Montana C
District of Columbia C
Hawaii CA
South Dakota COTA
California CT
Missouri CTA
Nebraska CTA
Kentucky CTAO
Texas CTOA
Massachusetts O
Colorado O
Delaware OCA
Florida T
Kansas T

Data compiled by Linda Hapner.

Source: Better Roads 2013 Bridge Inventory