Oregon's Bridges Continue Structural Decline

March 1, 2023
Oregon lacks the sustainable funding for long-term bridge maintenance

According to a new report from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the state's bridges have continued to decline last year.

Oregon's bridges hit a ten-year high last year regarding which ones are "distressed". Structures with that designation frequently have restrictions on the weight of crossing vehicles.

Older bridges weren’t designed for newer, heavier vehicles like modern fire trucks, according to Bert Hartman, managing engineer of ODOT’s Oregon Bridge Program.

Hartman added that the state needs to replace aging bridge structures more quickly. At its current pace, ODOT estimates that existing bridges would need to continue functioning for 900 years.

According to Hartman, the Bridge Program lacks sustainable funding. Another factor is inflation. Eugene City Engineer Jenifer Willer said inflation has made repairs more expensive.

ODOT said Oregon’s bridges are regularly inspected and safe for public use.


Source: OPB.org