Updates in 2015
A few months ago, the state released a 2015 Transportation Performance Report, which revealed that PA is doing great in many ways, which includes the lowest record number of alcohol-related fatalities.
While the report showed that the state has made some positive efforts in improving state-owned bridges, local bridges still seem to be a serious problem. In fact, 35% of local bridges are structurally deficient.
The state is expanding its Local Bridge Bundling Program to additional regions to better address the issue.
Bridges in Pennsylvania
A recent Newsworks article states that bridges in PA are not in great shape. So what exactly is the problem?
A 2014 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers graded the state’s infrastructure and gave PA’s bridges a D+ grade.
As the article states, Pennsylvania has the oldest bridges in the US, averaging at 54 years. When you consider the fact that the national average is 43 years, then 54 is sounding pretty darn old.
Philadelphia is also home to the oldest roadway bridge in the US, the Frankford Avenue Bridge, which was first erected in 1697.
Considering the ages of these bridges, Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country.
But what exactly makes a bridge “structurally deficient?”
A structurally deficient bridge is one that exhibits deterioration in one or more of its major components. This may include the beams, the foundation, the roadway, or another part of the structure. Common deterioration includes heavy rust or cracked concrete.
According to the article, PA has more than 6,000 structurally deficient bridges.
Never fear though. While a structurally deficient bridge will need repairs in the future, it is not unsafe to use the bridge. If a bridge is unsafe, it will be closed, much like the 495 bridge closure in Delaware.
Engineers regularly monitor these bridges, so you don’t have to start avoiding them.
When a bridge does need a repair, Shot Blast Inc. will be there to help, as we specialize in bridge shot blasting and repairs.