19 Structurally Deficient Bridges That Americans Drive Over Every Day

construction workers

Business Insider‘s Henry Blodget recently wrote on the need for infrastructure spending in the United States. 

Something that drives that point home is how badly some of our essential infrastructure has decayed. As of last year, 11.5 per cent of US bridges, crossed by an average of 282,672,680 vehicles daily, were graded as “structurally deficient” by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The National Bridge Inventory is used by the FHWA to create a list of eligible projects for the federal Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. According to the FHWA “HBRRP funds can only be used to replace or to rehabilitate bridges which are significantly important and are unsafe.”

Bridges with a sufficiency rating of 80 per cent or less that have not been built or significantly repaired within the last 10 years are considered “structurally deficient” and appear on the list.

From the FHWA’s guidance on the program: “Those bridges appearing on the list with a sufficiency rating of less than 50.0 will be eligible for replacement or rehabilitation while those with a sufficiency rating of 80.0 or less will be eligible for rehabilitation.”

Private construction is way up, but reduced public spending is a drag on the economy. 

When we have 8.2 per cent unemployment, historically low borrowing rates, and a stagnant recovery, we need to be fixing this and building better infrastructure for the future. Here’s somewhere we can start. 

Note on terminology: A sufficiency rating is a measure of a bridge’s sufficiency to stay in service based on four separate factors. A deck is the bridge’s supporting surface, the superstructure supports the deck, and the substructure is the bridge’s foundation. Each of the following bridges is on the FHA’s list, and has a sufficiency rating below 80, which is the threshold below which a bridge is considered deficient. 

I-10 at I-110 Avenue (Los Angeles, California)

Average daily traffic on this bridge: 304,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 60 per cent

Why is it deficient?: The bridge is rated 'functionally obsolete, meaning that it is 'no longer by design functionally adequate for its task.'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in California: 12.8 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 82,647,465 vehicles


Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-25 over the South Platte River (Denver, CO)

Average Daily Traffic: 203,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 24.5 per cent

Why is it deficient?: The FHWA rates the condition of the bridge's superstructure as 'serious', and its structural evaluation states that its condition is 'basically intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action.'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Colorado: 6.8% per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 5,117,359 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-76 over Klemm Avenue (Camden, NJ)

Average Daily Traffic: 191,940 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 52 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's deck and superstructure are in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in New Jersey: 10.3 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 11,324,590 vehicles


Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

IS-695 over Milford Mill Rd. (Baltimore County, MD)

Average Daily Traffic: 190,204 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 56.9 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's deck is in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Maryland: 6.9 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 4,613,962 vehicles


Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America


Halona Street over Kapalama Canal (Honolulu, HI)

Average Daily Traffic: 183,925 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 32.1 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's deck and superstructure are in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Hawaii: 12.4 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 1,800,369 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America


I-95 over Hendricks Ave. (Jacksonville, FL)

Average Daily Traffic: 172,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 68.3 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridges deck is in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Florida: 2.4 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 1,750,483 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America


I-278, an approach to the Verazano Bridge (Staten Island, NY)

Average Daily Traffic: 169,791 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 49 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's substructure is in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in New York: 12.0 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 15,096,756 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-93 over Riverside Ave. (Medford, MA)

Average Daily Traffic: 169,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 67.9 per cent

Why is it deficient? The bridge is rated 'functionally obsolete, meaning that it is 'no longer by design functionally adequate for its task.'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Massachusetts: 11.0 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 10,408,421 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America


I-290 over Salt Creek (Addison, IL)

Average Daily Traffic: 162,400 vehicles

Sufficiency Rating: 34 per cent

Why is it deficient? The FHWA rates the bridges deck and superstructure as being in critical condition, and the bridge as 'basically intolerable requiring high priority of replacement'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Illinois: 8.5 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 8,136,203 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-95 over Jefferson Blvd. (Warwick, RI)

Average Daily Traffic: 156,400 vehicles

Sufficiency Rating: 34.1 per cent

Why is it deficient? The FHWA rates the bridge's superstructure as in serious condition, and the bridge as 'basically intolerable requiring a high priority of corrective action.'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Rhode Island: 21.6 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 3,000,502 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-35E over Pennsylvania Ave. (St. Paul, MN)

Average Daily Traffic: 154,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 64 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's deck, superstructure, and substructure are in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Minnesota: 8.8 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 2,436,031 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-15 over US 95 (Las Vegas, NV)

Average Daily Traffic: 148,200 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 81 per cent

Why is it deficient?: The bridge is rated 'functionally obsolete, meaning that it is 'no longer by design functionally adequate for its task.'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Nevada: 2.2 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 251,365 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-70 over Fisher Road (Columbus, OH)

Average Daily Traffic: 146,370 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 57 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the substructure is in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Ohio: 9.8 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 11,157,457 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

Second Blvd. over I-94 (Wayne, MI)

Average Daily Traffic: 146,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 48.0 per cent

Why is it deficient? According to the FHWA, the superstructure of the bridge is in poor condition, and the deck is in serious condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Michigan: 13.1 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 8,764,101 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-64 ramp at River Rd. (Louisville, KY)

Average Daily Traffic: 144,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 66 per cent

Why is it deficient?: The bridge is rated 'functionally obsolete, meaning that it is 'no longer by design functionally adequate for its task.'

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Kentucky: 9.5 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 4,502,538 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-65 over City Street (Birmingham, AL)

Average Daily Traffic: 146,620 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 32 per cent

Why is it deficient?: The FHWA rates the superstructure as in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Alabama: 9.9 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 3,309,811 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

I-95 over SR 745 (New Haven, CT)

Average Daily Traffic: 141,200 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 42.1

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's deck and superstructure are in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Connecticut: 9.2 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 4,482,324 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

Route 395 over the George Washington Memorial Parkway (Arlington, VA)

Average Daily Traffic: 115,000 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 51 per cent

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the bridge's deck and superstructure are in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Virginia: 9.4 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 6,758,887 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

PA Turnpike at S. York Rd. (Hatboro, PA)

Average Daily Traffic: 85,801 vehicles

Sufficiency rating: 49

Why is it deficient?: According to the FHWA, the substructure is in poor condition.

Percentage of structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania: 26.5 per cent

Daily statewide traffic on deficient bridges: 22,773,880 vehicles

Source: National Bridge Inventory, Transportation For America

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