A new report recently released by transportation research nonprofit group TRIP shows that 10% of bridges in New York State are rated as poor or structurally deficient—a condition rating that indicates significant deterioration of a bridge deck, supports or other major components.
The report titled "Preserving New York’s Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of New York’s Aging Bridge System," find that 1,757 of the state's 17,521 bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, and that these poorly rated structures carry nearly 11.6 million vehicles per day.
The report also finds that 53% of New York State bridges have been rated in fair condition, while the remaining 37% are deemed to be in fair condition.
The report notes that poor/structurally deficient bridges may have imposed weight restrictions placed on them or may be closed depending on their condition. Restrictions to vehicle weight along deteriorated bridges can cause many vehicles to use alternate routes to avoid weight-restricted structures. This can significantly impact the travel time and fuel use for emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, school buses, and farm equipment.
“The TRIP Report underscores what highway superintendents throughout the state understand about the condition of many of our local bridges. Poor bridge condition ratings negatively impact functionality, time of travel, safety, the local economy and the overall experience of the traveling public,” Dennis S. Davis, president of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association, said in a TRIP news release. “With many aging bridges more than 70 years old, not to mention tens of thousands of culverts also requiring immediate reconstruction or replacement, we face a situation in desperate need of increased public investment and a concerted effort on the part of all levels of government to address the funding demands of our aging and ailing transportation systems.”