Bridges in Arapahoe County among approximately 35,000 bridges to be repaired

ARAAPAHOE COUNTY, CO – Even though thousands of bridges across the country, including those in Arapahoe County, could see repairs under President Joe Biden’s proposed $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan. dollars, recent data from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration suggests that the part of the plan that deals with bridge repairs may not be enough.

The recently released Highway Administration 2020 State of Bridges Report shows Colorado has 3,277 bridges in good condition, 5,071 in good condition, and 481 in poor condition. In Arapahoe County, 99 are in good condition, 263 in fair condition and 20 in poor condition, requiring repair.

Arapahoe County’s poor-rated bridges are among more than 35,000 to receive the lowest rating nationwide, NBC News revealed in an analysis of highway administration data.

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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.

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The Highway Authority’s report also examines the condition of Colorado’s bridges for their age. In Colorado, of the bridges rated “poor”, 61 were built in the 1980s, 24 in the 1990s, and 6 in the 2000s.

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 “.

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