Road Safety A Big Concern Among Truckers

More than 54,000 U.S. bridges listed as ‘structurally deficient’

The US can no longer afford to push infrastructure repair down the road. The condition of our roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair in order to maintain safety and adequate traffic flow that fuels our economy. While the number of vehicles on the roads have steadily increased over past decades, sufficient maintenance of those roads has not.

Deficient Bridge Report

A new report from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association reveals that more than 54,000 bridges on U.S. interstates and highways are rated “structurally deficient.” That’s 8.8 percent are considered “structurally deficient,” meaning these bridges may not be unsafe at the moment but are in need of attention and repair. The ARTBA report notes that one in three bridges throughout the US is in need of repair.

Other key takeaways from the report:

  • Truck, Cars and buses cross these deficient bridges 174 million times daily.
  • Average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years, compared to 40 years for non-deficient bridges.
  • One in three (226,837) U.S. bridges have identified repair needs.
  • One in three (17,726) Interstate highway bridges have identified repair needs.

In analyzing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2017 National Bridge Inventory database, ARTBA found that in the nearly 48,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System, an average of one bridge every 27 miles is considered “structurally deficient.”

According to ARTBA’s analysis, Iowa is home to the most “structurally deficient” bridges with 5,067 on the list. Other states near the top of the list are Pennsylvania (4,173 bridges), Oklahoma (3,234 bridges), Missouri (3,086 bridges), and Illinois (2,303 bridges). Based on the percentage of bridges in each state that appear on the list, Rhode Island leads the way with 23 percent of its bridges being considered “structurally deficient.”

Washington, D.C. has the fewest bridges on the list with eight, followed by Nevada with 31, Delaware with 39, Hawaii with 66 and Utah with 87.

Top 5 states with the highest number of structurally deficient bridges:

  1. Iowa (5,067)
  2. Pennsylvania (4,173)
  3. Oklahoma (3,234)
  4. Missouri (3,086)
  5. Illinois (2,303)

States with the highest % of bridges that are structurally deficient:

  1. Rhode Island (23.3%)
  2. Iowa (20.9%)
  3. West Virginia (19%)
  4. South Dakota (18.6%)
  5. Pennsylvania (18.3%)


Five states represent the top 20 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in the US. – California had 13 out of the top 20. followed by Missouri (3), Maryland (2), Mass. and New Jersey

There have been signs of slight improvement, but Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist for the ARTBA, said at this pace, it would take 37 years to make all the needed repairs.

In the State of the Union speech last week, President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass legislation that would generate $1.5 trillion to spend on roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.


2018 ARTBA Bridge Report

Press Release: American Bridges Structural Deficiencies 

Ranking report by state