We Cross Bridges Needing Repair 260M Times a Day

New report finds that 1 in 9 in US are 'structurally deficient'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 19, 2013 9:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – If this story didn't already cause you to develop a mild case of gephyrophobia, then this one may do the trick: Some 11% of America's bridges are structurally deficient and in need of repair, according to a new report from Transportation for America. It's a stat made more serious when you consider this next one: 260 million trips are made across the 66,405 problematic bridges each day. As USA Today explains, these bridges aren't necessarily dangerous, they just need a lot of work, which has been priced at $76 billion by the Federal Highway Administration.

That amount will just get larger as the years pass. These bridges are, on average, 65 years old, and in 10 years, the number of "senior citizen" bridges will be one in four. "You're seeing the aging of the system," says a co-author of the report. "It really does parallel the [aging of] the Baby Boomers in a startling way." Congress recently eliminated a dedicated bridge repair fund, meaning "bridge repair now must compete with other transportation needs," the report states. Rather than "an epidemic of collapses," the more common consequences of the aging bridge system will be things like more large potholes and closed lanes, the co-author tells NBC News.

This May 10, 2013 file photo shows view of the Manhattan Bridge, left, and Brooklyn Bridge as seen from the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, in New York.
This May 10, 2013 file photo shows view of the Manhattan Bridge, left, and Brooklyn Bridge as seen from the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, in New York.   (AP photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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