D+ For America’s Infrastructure

Bridge Collapses And Crumbling Roads Cost Americans In Safety, Time, And Money


TRANSPORTATION SEC. ANTHONY FOXX: “‘The condition of the nation’s transportation infrastructure ‘should be an outrage to every American,’ he said…‘How can you plan, as a researcher or a civil engineer in a transportation department, if you don’t have long-term certainty’ about funding, he asked. ‘I think the American people are going to have to say at some point, ‘This is enough. We can’t keep driving on these potholes.’” (“Transportation Chief Visits Pittsburgh To View New Research, Technology,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/23/15)


‘Inability’ To Pass Long-Term Highway Bill Has ‘Wreaked Havoc’ On Planned Infrastructure Improvements

“And Congress’ inability to agree on a long-term funding solution has wreaked havoc on state transportation departments, which plan their projects years, not months, in advance. (“Congress Approves Highway Funding Fix At Last Minute, But The Problem Isn’t Solved,” McClatchy, 7/31/14)

“The analysis of the federal government data, conducted by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, shows cars, trucks and school buses cross the nation’s 61,064 structurally compromised bridges 215 million times every day.  Not surprisingly, the most heavily traveled are on the Interstate Highway System, which carries the bulk of truck traffic and passenger vehicles.” (ARTBA, Press Release, 4/1/15)


America’s Drivers Face Collapsing Bridges And Crumbling Roads Across The Country

CALIFORNIA: “An elevated section of Interstate 10 collapsed Sunday amid heavy rains in the California desert, injuring one driver, stranding many others, and halting travel for thousands by cutting off both directions of a main corridor between Southern California and Arizona… That means those seeking to travel between California and Arizona would be forced to go hundreds of miles out of their way to Interstate 8 to the south or Interstate 40 to the north.” (“Bridge Collapses Amid Heavy Rains In California,” Associated Press, 7/20/15)

VIRGINIA: “The iconic 1930s-era Memorial Bridge that leads from the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial is so badly corroded that two lanes must be partially shut down for six to nine months starting with Friday’s morning rush hour, federal officials said Thursday.” (“Memorial Bridge, Symbol Of U.S. Strength, Is Corroded, Partly Shut Down,” Washington Post, 5/28/15)

OHIO: “Half of Cincinnati's roads are deteriorated, and nearly one-third of the city's bridges need repair, according to a national research report released Thursday. The report, released by transportation research group TRIP, states Ohio’s transportation system faces challenges in the form of deteriorated roads and bridges, high rates of rural traffic deaths, increasingly crowded roads and insufficient funding to proceed with projects needed to support economic development.” (“Report Finds Nearly Half Of Roads, Third Of Bridges In Cincinnati Need Repair,” WCPO, 6/18/15)

NEW JERSEY: “The U.S. Department of Transportation says 66 percent of New Jersey roads are in poor to mediocre condition and that costs drivers an average of $601 a year in repair bills. The report also found that 35 percent or 2,334 of the states 6,566 bridges are considered structurally deficient, which usually means they can't carry the weight they were designed to, or are functional obsolete.” (“Just How Much Does The Condition Of N.J. Roads Cost You Every Year?,” NJ Advance Media, 7/14/15)

MAINE: “Maine’s bridges and rural roads are among the worst in the nation, according to a report by TRIP, a national research group that promotes polices that reduce traffic congestion. The report says that 26 percent of Maine’s rural roads have pavement that is in poor condition, and that only seven other states have roads that are worse. The report also found that 15 percent of the state’s rural bridges are structurally deficient. Only eight other states have a higher percent of deficient bridges, according to the report. (“Maine’s Bridges And Rural Roads Get Poor Marks,” Portland Press Herald, 5/19/15)

MISSOURI: “Approximately 14 percent of bridges in Missouri are considered to be in poor condition, according to a report by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. When you rank the states by the total number of structurally deficient bridges that they have, Missouri comes in at No. 4.” (“Missouri Bridges Among Worst In Country,” KSDK, 4/1/15)

ILLINOIS: “The United States Department of Transportation released a data sheet stating that 73 percent of Illinois roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and 16 percent of Illinois bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Illinois roads are trending worse than the national average of 65 percent in poor or mediocre condition.” (“U.S. DOT: 73 Percent Of Illinois Roads In Rough Condition,” WREX, 7/09/15)

PENNSYLVANIA: “Pennsylvania has the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. and one over the Parkway East near the Squirrel Hill Tunnel tops the list of most traveled in the commonwealth, according to a study released Wednesday.” (“How Pennsylvania Fares When It Comes To Structurally Deficient Bridges,” Pittsburgh business Times, 4/1/15)



Related Issues: Highway Bill