The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recent released a report on highway bridges. The report summarizes information on bridges from several federal government sources and reports. Some of the interesting highlights of the report follow.
Bridge Conditions. In 2006, 74,000 bridges were found to be structurally deficient. This amounts to about 12 percent of highway bridges. Structurally deficient bridges are considered unsafe or likely to collapse, but need significant maintenance and may need weight or traffic limitations.
Spending. About $12 billion was spent on highway bridges in 2004. The vast majority, about $10.5 billions, was for rehabilitation and replacement of bridges.
Bridge Ownership. State and local governments own 98 percent of the bridges tracked by the Federal Highway Administration. The agency’s National Bridge Inventory includes all public road bridges over 20 feet long.
Rural vs. Urban Bridges. Urban interstate bridges, less than 5 percent of highway bridges, carry almost 35 percent of bridge traffic. Rural local bridges, about 35 percent of highway bridges, carry less than 2 percent of the traffic.