HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Where America's Unsafe Br...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri May 24, 2013, 01:16 PM

Where America's Unsafe Bridges Are

The Federal Highway Administration oversees the inspection of all of the country's 575,413 bridges, and it classifies almost 20 percent of them as "structurally deficient." A structurally deficient bridge is not necessarily in danger of imminent collapse; for example, the category includes many bridges that are still safe but have vehicle-weight restrictions.

More than 80 percent of all U.S. bridges are located east of the geographic midpoint between the coasts. The skewed distribution is due in part to the way the Midwest and Great Plains states were settled--in the so-called "township-and-range" pattern, which resulted in the laying down of land parcels and roadways in evenly spaced grids; in order to maintain this even spacing, many bridges had to be built over small waterways. Iowa, for example contains more bridges than Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming combined.






The percentage of structurally deficient bridges should increase in the next ten years, in large part because tens of thousands of bridges built on the interstate highways during the boom years following the Second World War will soon be in need of major repairs. The Secretary of Transportation estimates that federal, state, and local governments will need to increase their yearly funding by almost 40 percent to meet the surging need for bridge rehabilitation.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1994/03/troubled-bridges/306142/

17 replies, 2071 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 01:27 PM

1. NW Pa here and they have been madly working on bridges in my area. I see the undersides of these

bridges while taking the grandson fishing. These bridges are literally crumbling away, very scary to see.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 01:29 PM

2. Oklahoma has a ton of unsafe bridges

Thanks so much Republicans! Taking care of the people at home, aren't you? (Taking care of themselves is what they're doing.)

We've had people die sitting in traffic under bridges because big chunks of concrete fell off the bridge and smashed through their car.

Republican government in action: corporations get everything, the American people die.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 01:31 PM

3. Not surprised to see my county in red

There are two one-lane bridges on the road to my house from the early 20s. There were three but one got replaced about 6 years ago. At the north end of the road there's a dam from probably the 1910s that has major cracks in it and could go at any time. That'll be something when it goes, sigh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 01:59 PM

4. Having lived in Louisiana, I would say there are unsafe bridges there. It is a beautiful State, yet

we think carefully how we would travel through the State avoiding certain bridges and roads.


Tikki

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tikki (Reply #4)

Fri May 24, 2013, 02:07 PM

5. Especially around New Orleans

and the stretch between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is a hazard all by itself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Aerows (Reply #5)

Fri May 24, 2013, 02:13 PM

6. 'Ka-WHUMP'..'Ka-WHUMP'..'Ka-WHUMP'..'Ka-WHUMP'..

I avoid a bunch of the same ones just because of that damned noise as you travel it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 02:18 PM

7. WTF is up with NY?

EVERY county has 32% or more structurally deficient bridges? That's shocking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to magellan (Reply #7)

Fri May 24, 2013, 02:21 PM

8. Think salt

Winter ice melt in these northern states is salt. Surprised not more northern states are not worse than it shows.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Reply #8)

Fri May 24, 2013, 02:41 PM

10. They may also have a lot more bridges to maintain.

Some places have more roads, or more rivers and gulches to cross And, as the OP points out, there is a matter of how the land is parceled out. Lots of wide open spaces out West that have no roads going through them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Reply #8)

Fri May 24, 2013, 04:20 PM

14. Heavy use plays into the deterioration.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to magellan (Reply #7)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:55 AM

17. And round trips across a bridge...

...can cost$14 or more in tolls.

Per car. and god knows how many cars per day use those bridges.

Hell, you can't go anyplace without crossing at least 2 of them, it seems.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 02:39 PM

9. The entire state of New York is red.

Hey Cuomo, time to fix the state's infrastructure.

Maybe he should worry less about Weiner's weiner and concentrate on his own job.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 03:07 PM

11. There shouldn't be one structurally unsound bridge in this country

We fund the biggest military the world has ever seen, yet we can't keep bridges from collapsing?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #11)

Fri May 24, 2013, 03:11 PM

13. We have been building bombs not bridges

It is all bass ackwards

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2013, 03:10 PM

12. Chart is from 1993.

I'm curious what it looks like now.

Are Republicans reluctant to fix infrastructure in blue states and perhaps poor areas, similar to their reluctance to fund Sandy relief?

I remember Al Gore campaigning some on fixing infrastructure back in 2000, noting poor ASCE ratings. I figured that would be a good place to spend some surplus money.

Has any progress other than the shovel-ready Obama stimulus projects been made in the past 20 years or are the Ayn Randians in Washington going to just let it all rot and collapse?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Sat May 25, 2013, 07:12 PM

15. Have there been any more recent studies re defective bridges since this one

 

in the early 1990's?

Surely some repairs have been made during these 20+ years.

edited to add reason for asking: Two recent threads about bridges failing as a result of accidents - one train collision, another a truck involved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bike man (Reply #15)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:26 AM

16. This is the only study I have seen in recent articles.

You have to wonder why.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread