MARYLAND – Although thousands of bridges across the country, including those in Maryland, could be subject to repair under President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, recent data from the Federal Highway Administration from the US Department of Transportation suggest the part of the plan that deals with bridge repair. maybe not enough.
The recently released Highway Administration 2020 Report on the State of Bridges shows Maryland with 1,773 bridges in good condition, 3,384 in good condition, and 273 in poor condition.
That’s 891 miles of bridges in Maryland in good condition, with 2,382 miles in fair condition and 112 miles in poor condition.
Maryland’s poor-rated bridges are among more than 35,000 to receive the lowest rating nationally, NBC News found in an analysis of highway administration data.
Bridges were rated based on their deck, superstructure and substructure, with culverts – drain or channel crossings – also included in the ratings. Bridges with an overall rating of seven or more are labeled good, those rated five or six being rated as fair and those with a rating of four or less considered poor.
The Highway Authority’s report also examines the condition of bridges in Maryland relative to their age. In the state, of the bridges rated “poor”, 19 were built in the 1980s, six in the 1990s, five in the 2000s and none in the 2010s.
The State Highway Administration last updated its list of poor rated bridges in March 2019. Here’s what the state’s website shows:
- Number of badly rated bridges as of March 15, 2018: 62
- Number of poorly rated bridges processed in 2018: 18
- Number of bridges that became poorly rated in 2018: 8
- Total number of structurally deficient bridges as of March 15, 2019: 52
Part of Biden’s infrastructure proposal, called the “American Jobs Plan,” includes about $ 115 billion to repair highways, roads and bridges, according to an NPR report. However, negotiations over the infrastructure bill have stalled between the Biden administration and Senate Republicans, as a group of centrist senators have been called upon to help find a compromise.
By the time Biden’s plan stood in late May, around 10,000 of the country’s smallest bridges would be repaired, according to NBC News.
That might not be enough, especially in rural America where highway administration data shows bridges most in need of repair. For the most part, bridges with two or less lanes were rated as most in need of repair in their most recent inspection, NBC News reported.
Iowa is in need of bridge repairs the most, according to the data, followed closely by Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
In Iowa alone, more than 4,400 small rural bridges need repair, NBC News reported.
Mark Nahra, president of the Iowa County Engineers Association, who has worked on bridges in the state for nearly four decades, told NBC that usually “bridges that are in poor condition are less than 10 years old. of estimated remaining life “.