Bridging the Gap: Restoring and Rebuilding the Nation’s Bridges

Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, July 2008

From the summary:
Bridging the Gap: Restoring and Rebuilding the Nation’s Bridges offers the latest on the conditions, age and costs to repair and modernize the nation’s 590,000 bridges as well as key examples showcasing new inspection and construction technologies. Among its key findings:
• Within the next 15 years almost half of the nation’s bridges will exceed 50 years of age, exceeding the life span for which they were designed. Even now, one in five are over 50.
• With age comes decay. One in four of our bridges are rated as deficient, either in need of repair or in need of widening to handle today’s traffic.
• New estimates released this week show that more than $140 billion will be needed to fix them.
• Soaring construction costs have whittled away the ability of states to address preventive maintenance and new bridge construction.

Key solutions to address the growing number of “baby boomer” bridges include: increased investment; research and innovation; systematic maintenance; more public awareness; and additional financing options.

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