20 Heavily Trafficked Bridges in Urgent Need of Repair: Is Yours on the List?

By A Bahou A Hull JR Santo B Wei

Aug 2, 2007 8:17pm

Twenty heavily trafficked bridges "may need to be replaced" because they are structurally deficient, according to national bridge inspection data. These bridges scored a lower structural integrity rating than the I-35W bridge in Minnesota before its collapse. According to the 2006 National Bridge Inventory, the Minnesota bridge received a "50% sufficiency" rating. The Federal Highway Administration says any bridge with a rating of 50 percent or lower is considered "structurally deficient" and "may need to be replaced." The Minnesota bridge carried an average of 180,000 commuters per day. An ABC News analysis of the National Bridge Inventory data reveal that at least 20 other bridges carrying more than 190,000 daily commuters are in even worse structural shape. THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Blotter Post-Collapse: Don’t Get Scammed, Says FBI Blotter More Than One in Four U.S. Bridges Ailing, Studies Show Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage. Half of the 20 bridges are located in New Jersey and California, including the famous San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (pictured above). The New Jersey Route-21 Bridge over the I-80 corridor is the busiest, with more than 518,000 daily commuters and a 49 percent sufficiency rating. The lowest rated bridge is the Raritan River Smith Street Bridge in New Jersey which 208,000 commuters drive across daily. It earned a rating of only 20 percent. The Federal Highway Administration’s sufficiency rating serves only as a guideline and does not mean that a bridge is necessarily unsafe. 20 Most Deficient, Heavily-Trafficked Bridges (Source: 2006 National Bridge Inventory, Federal Highway Administration): 20.2%. New Jersey: Raritan River Smith St. Bridge over the Garden State Parkway. Daily commuter load of 208,000. 23.6%. New Jersey: Elizabeth River Bridge over the Garden State Parkway. Daily commuter load of 198,200. 27.2%. New Jersey: Port Reading Bridge over Grove Avenue. Daily commuter load of 191,530. 32%. New York: Lee Avenue Bridge (Section A) over Route I-278. Daily commuter load of 202,650. 32.1%. California: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Ala-Oak) over I-80. Daily commuter load of 277,700. 32.1%. Hawaii: Kapalama Canal over Halona Street. Daily commuter load of 211,528. 34%. New York: Joralemon Street Bridge over Route I-278. Daily commuter load of 202,650. 35%. Illinois: Stewart Avenue Bridge over I-90. Daily commuter load of 238,500. 36%. Colorado: South Platte River Bridge over I-25ML. Daily commuter load of 208,353. 42.5%. Virginia: Boundary Channel Bridge over Shirley Memorial Highway. Daily commuter load of 210,993. 46.3%. Georgia: Banberry Road Bridge over I-75. Daily commuter load of 266,060. NOTE: The sufficiency rating of this bridge was raised to 73.9 percent after a Georgia Department of Transportation inspection on March 28, 2007. 46.3%. California: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SF section) over I-80. Daily commuter load of 204,900. 46.3%. New Jersey: Elizabeth River Bridge over Garden State Parkway. Daily commuter load of 198,200. 47%. California: 5th Avenue Bridge over I-880. Daily commuter load of 240,000. 48%. California: Noakes Street Bridge over I-710. Daily commuter load of 240,000. 49%.New Jersey: Route-21 Bridge over I-280. Daily commuter load of 518,100. 49%. California: Bayshore Viaduct over Rte 101. Daily commuter load of 256,700. 49%. New York: Lee Avenue Bridge (Section C) over I-278. Daily commuter load of 202,650. 49%. Massachusetts: Cape Cod Canal over Route 28. Daily commuter load of 195,000. 50%. California: Metrolink over I-710. Daily commuter load of 235,440. Some bridges are listed twice with different sufficiency ratings because civil engineers divide these bridges into separate sections. This post has been updated.
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