Brooklyn Bridge among 1800 'structurally deficient' bridges in NY state

Georgia Reed
February 1, 2018

A newly released study is once again pointing to the need to revamp the nation's infrastructure.

NY state ranked number 10 out of the entire nation in terms of the number of structurally deficient bridges and number 14 based on the percent of bridges with that rating.

Noting President Trump is expected to address the nation's infrastructure challenges in his January 30 "State of the Union" address, Black says, "An infrastructure package aimed at modernizing the Interstate System would have both short- and long-term positive effects on the US economy".

Of the approximately 17,450 bridges in NY, 1,837 - or 10.5 percent - are classified as "structurally deficient", according to new data from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Iowa has the most deficient bridges in the USA and Nevada had the fewest.

The Lem Turner Road bridge over the Trout River was reported to have bank-protection failing and river-control devices said to be failing. The oldest listed "deficient" bridge in the county is in Hubbard, listed as being built in 1928, and "requiring high priority of corrective action".

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Without the Sarasota County bridge on the list the only deficient rural interstate bridge on I-75 is in Hernando County. Some 54,259 American highway bridges are "structurally deficient", it shows, on structures that "cars, trucks, and school buses cross these ... compromised structures 174 million times every day". This status does not indicate the severity of the defect but rather that a defect is present. "And any one of those three things are given a rating, and if the ratings get to a certain level on one of those three the bridge is considered structurally deficient", Iowa DOT Bridge Maintenance and Inspection Engineer Scott Neubauer said. A score of nine means the bridge is in excellent condition. Eight of of those 265 bridges are on interstate highways.

The report was part of a larger effort by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association looking at bridge infrastructure across the country.

According to the National Bridge Inventory "functionally obsolete" is a status used to describe a bridge that is no longer by design functionally adequate for its task. They have a limited amount of money that they deal with and they have bridges that have very low traffic volumes.

A structurally deficient bridge is not likely to collapse, according to the state Department of Transportation, but does often require significant maintenance to fix its condition or improve functionality. Green is 0 to 4.9 percent, yellow is 5 to 8.9 percent, and orange is 9 percent or higher.

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