While congress continues to slash funding for repairing our bridges, the bridges continue to deteriorate.
From CNN: Congress passed a law last year that eliminated a dedicated repair fund for local and state bridges, leaving nearly 90 percent of deficient bridges without access to federal funds, as they don’t belong to the National Highway System (NHS), and are ineligible for the funds. Most funding goes to the 10 percent of deficient bridges on the NHS, which includes the interstates and most larger state highways.
A friend gave us a button a few years back that reads, “Sometimes, when it’s really quiet, I can hear our infrastructure crumbling.” Kind of funny, but its getting to be more than a little scary. Charlottesville remains near the bottom of the list in Virginia, with 47.4% of the bridges considered structurally deficient – the same category as the Minneapolis I35W bridge that collapsed suddenly in 2007.
See where your state’s bridges measure up by using Transportation for America’s interactive map. And be sure to compare not only the number of deficient bridges, but the amount of traffic crossing those bridges (see the table at the bottom of the web page with the interactive map. You may decide to take different route to work!
***update*** The Virginia governor’s office just released plans to spend about $1.26 M during fiscal year 2014 in Albermarle County and the City of Charlottesville. That’s nice, but with only $154,000 allocated to Charlottesville for various bridge maintenance projects, we’re unlikely to see a reduction in the number of deficient bridges anytime soon. – Michael Curry