With few exceptions, states are losing the battle with aging bridges in need of repair or replacement.
Even states with low percentages of bridges rated poor are finding it difficult to keep up with bridge and road systems that in many cases are 50 years old or older.
Utah, which ranks fourth for the lowest percentage of poor bridges, programs a bridge for repair or replacement in the year after it drops to a poor rating, completing the project within four or five years. The Utah Department of Transportation notes, though, that the number of bridges falling from good to fair and from fair to poor ratings continues to increase.
“The greatest challenge is completing enough projects in a given year to replace, rehabilitate and preserve enough bridges to stay ahead of the deterioration trends of an aging inventory,” says the UDOT’s survey for this year’s Equipment World Better Roads Bridge Inventory.