Structurally Deficient Bridges

Are your bridges safe?

How I See It

My rural state of Iowa has more public road miles than the combined total interstate miles in all 50 states. Of our 24,242 bridges spanning at least 20 ft carrying highway traffic, 5025 are structurally deficient (20.7%). We are 1st in the nation in number and 3rd in percentage according to the Federal Highway Administration’s 2016 National Bridge Inventory. The data is presented by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association in Washington DC.

This photograph shows a public bridge at least 20 ft long which suffered complete failure for a variety of reasons including deterioration with age and an excessive load. The flaws of bridges can be hidden from view. They need qualified inspectors who know what engineering points to examine.

Bridge Photo courtesy of Audubon County Iowa

Structurally Deficient does not mean the bridge is in immediate danger of collapse. But, it does need attention. The quote below from the Iowa Department of Transportation

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