ARTBA: Structurally deficient bridge numbers drop, spending up in last 10 years

Updated Aug 12, 2017

In an analysis of progress made on repairing U.S. bridges in the 10 years since the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says the number of structurally deficient bridges have dropped by 24.5 percent, while the value of construction has increased 39 percent.

While this is positive, the association says the progress isn’t enough to keep up with bridge needs in the country, with ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who conducted the analysis, saying it would take more than 30 years to replace or repair all of the country’s structurally compromised bridges.

ARTBA reports the average age of a structurally deficient bridge in the U.S. is 67 years with the average age of a bridge that isn’t deficient is 39 years. Ten years ago, the averages ages were 60 years and 34 year respectively.

Black’s analysis finds the top 10 states with the largest drop in number of structurally deficient bridges since 2007 include:

  • Oklahoma (2,458)
  • California (1,861)
  • Pennsylvania (1,466)
  • Texas (1,350)
  • Missouri (1,282)
  • Mississippi, (1,010)
  • Ohio (1,008)
  • Kansas (856)
  • Alabama (712)
  • Indiana (536)

The top five states with the highest increase in number of deficient bridges in the past 10 years are:

  • West Virginia (174)
  • Idaho (52)
  • Arizona (27)
  • Delaware (22)
  • Rhode Island (21)

“A long-term infrastructure package from Congress and a permanent revenue solution to the Highway Trust Fund would help states make greater progress on fixing the nation’s deteriorating bridges,” says Black.