Highway Bridge Conditions: Issues for Congress [Updated August 31, 2020]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "Of the 617,000 public road bridges in the United States, about 46,000 (7.5%) were classified as in poor condition in 2019. These data, along with some highly publicized incidents involving highway bridges, have led to claims that the United States is experiencing a crisis with respect to bridge condition. Federal data do not substantiate this assertion. The number of bridges classified as poor has consistently fallen over the past decade, totaling about 15,000 fewer bridges in poor condition in 2019 than in 2009. Although improvements have been made in most states, there remain major differences in the share of bridges in poor condition. About 22% of bridges in Rhode Island are classified as poor, whereas in Nevada the share is 1%. The vast majority of bridges in poor condition, over four out of five, are in rural areas. These bridges tend to be small and relatively lightly traveled. In urban areas, bridges in poor condition, while far fewer, are generally much larger and, therefore, more expensive to fix: 59% of the deck area classified as in poor condition is on urban bridges. Bridges on roads carrying heavy traffic loads, particularly Interstate Highway bridges, are generally in better condition than those on more lightly traveled routes."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44459
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations