Minnesota bridges are in rough shape, report says

  • Blog Post by: Tim Harlow
  • April 30, 2014 - 1:57 PM

About eight percent of Minnesota bridges are structurally deficient and another three percent are functionally obsolete according to an analysis of the 2013 National Bridge Inventory database recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The state has more than 13,100 bridges and 1,086 of them are deficient, meaning one or more key elements are rated as being in poor or worse condition. Those elements include the deck, superstructure or substructure. And 427 bridges are obsolete, meaning the don't meet current design standards.

The numbers were compiled by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, which looked at bridge conditions in all 50 states.  It compiled the data and found that nationwide 63,000 bridges need structural repairs.

In Minnesota, the association estimates that it will take $1.2 billion to fix 2,607 bridges in the state. It also found that since 2004, 1,334 new bridges have been rebuilt and 36 have undergone major construction.

While Minnesota's bridge's might not be the nation's best, they are far from being the worst. In four states - Pennsylvania, Iowa, Rhode Island and South Dakota - more than 20 percent of bridges are structurally deficient. 

In total numbers, Pennsylvania leads that category with 5,218 structurally deficient bridges followed by Iowa with 5,043, Oklahoma at 4,227, Missouri with 3,357 and California with 2,769.  The states with the fewest structurally deficient bridges are Nevada (36), Delaware (56), Utah (117), Alaska (133) and Hawaii (144).

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