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Bridge Construction Group: Nearly 56,000 Bridges Nationwide Deemed ‘Structurally Deficient’

A bridge construction group announced Wednesday that nearly 56,000 bridges nationwide are “structurally deficient.”

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) released a list of 55,710 deficient bridges that includes bridges like the Throgs Neck in New York, the Yankee Doodle in Connecticut, and Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., USA Today reported.

The association’s list is based on data from the Department of Transportation. The department scores bridges on a nine-point scale and classifies those deemed structurally deficient as in need of attention.

More than one in four bridges are at least 50-years-old and have never undergone major construction, according to the ARTBA analysis.

The group said state transportation officials have identified 13,000 bridges that need replacement, widening, or reconstruction.

“America’s highway network is woefully underperforming,” said Alison Premo Black, the group’s chief economist who conducted the analysis. “It is outdated, overused, underfunded and in desperate need of modernization.”

The number one state with deficient bridges is Iowa, which has 4,968 deficient bridges. Pennsylvania came in second with 4,506, Oklahoma in third with 3,460, Missouri in fourth with 3,195 and Nebraska rounded out the top five with 2,361.

There are also eight states where at least 15 percent of the bridges are deficient. Those states are Rhode Island at 25 percent, Pennsylvania at 21 percent, Iowa and South Dakota at 20 percent, West Virginia at 17 percent, and Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma at 15 percent.

Federal officials are looking for new ways to fund road and bridge construction because the gas tax that funds the highway trust fund hasn’t provided enough money for construction projects.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao called the highway trust fund “a huge issue” during her confirmation hearing in January because it spends $10 billion more each year than it collects.

President Trump has proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure program that has received bipartisan support from leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

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