Discover dangerous, The most highly traveled, bridge in America’s every state
The United States, home to an extensive network of bridges, faces a critical challenge with a significant number of these structures deemed structurally deficient. This analysis provides an in-depth look at the most dangerous bridges across different states, highlighting a pressing need for infrastructure improvements.
Over 46,000 bridges in the U.S. are classified as structurally deficient, necessitating substantial investments for repairs and maintenance. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden in November 2021, allocates $550 billion for rebuilding key infrastructure, including bridges.
The American Society of Civil Engineers notes that most bridges have a service life of about 50 years, yet many on the list are over 55 years old, often on major highways like I-95 and I-90. A report by Transportation for America identified nearly 70,000 U.S. bridges as structurally deficient, with Pennsylvania having the highest percentage (26.5%) of deficient bridges.
Alabama: I-459 over Cahaba River In Alabama, the I-459 bridge, crossing the Cahaba River in Jefferson County, represents a significant safety concern. Constructed in 1981, this urban interstate bridge faces an average of 99,312 crossings each day.
Alaska: South Tongass Highway over Hoadley Creek Alaska’s most perilous bridge is the South Tongass Highway over Hoadley Creek in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Built in 1957, this urban minor arterial bridge endures 17,165 daily crossings, posing risks amid Alaska’s unique environmental conditions.
Arizona: Shea Boulevard over Indian Bend Wash Arizona’s Shea Boulevard bridge, spanning Indian Bend Wash in Maricopa County and built in 1976, experiences 48,700 crossings daily. This urban principal arterial bridge’s traffic volume underscores its importance and potential hazards.
Arkansas: I-30, Section 23 over Arkansas River The I-30 bridge over the Arkansas River in Pulaski County, Arkansas, is a major concern. Since its construction in 1958, this urban interstate bridge has been handling an impressive 119,000 crossings each day.
California: U.S. Highway 101 over Kester Ave In populous California, the U.S. Highway 101 bridge over Kester Ave in Los Angeles County stands out. Built in 1959, this urban freeway/expressway bridge supports a staggering 293,000 daily crossings, reflecting its critical role in Californian infrastructure.
Colorado: I-70 over U.S. Route 6 Colorado’s I-70 bridge over U.S. Route 6 in Denver County, constructed in 1964, is a notable urban interstate bridge, with 157,000 crossings daily. Its high traffic volume highlights the bridge’s importance in Colorado’s transportation network.
Connecticut: I-95 over Metro North Connecticut’s I-95 bridge over Metro North in New Haven County, dating back to 1956, bears the weight of 136,400 crossings each day. This urban interstate bridge plays a vital role in the region’s connectivity.
Delaware: Red Mill Rd. over Mill Pond In Delaware, the Red Mill Rd. bridge over Mill Pond in New Castle County, built in 1971, is the state’s most dangerous. This urban minor arterial bridge sees 22,887 crossings daily, highlighting its significance in the local road network.
Florida: Southbound I-95 over Sistrunk Blvd. Florida’s Southbound I-95 bridge over Sistrunk Blvd. in Broward County, constructed in 1975, is a major urban interstate bridge. It handles an immense 156,000 daily crossings, underscoring its critical role in Florida’s transportation system.
Georgia: I-75 over Swamp Creek Georgia’s I-75 bridge over Swamp Creek in Whitfield County, built in 1961, is a rural interstate bridge that sees 66,210 crossings each day. This bridge’s traffic volume and rural setting pose unique challenges.
Hawaii: Kalaniana’ole Highway over Niu Stream Hawaii’s Kalaniana’ole Highway bridge over Niu Stream in Honolulu County, dating back to 1934, is an urban freeway/expressway bridge that accommodates 58,500 daily crossings. Its age and high use make it a critical point of concern.
Idaho: State Highway 33 over Teton River In Idaho, the State Highway 33 bridge over the Teton River in Madison County, constructed in 1971, is an urban principal arterial bridge that sees 22,000 daily crossings. Its significance in the local infrastructure is evident.
Illinois: I-90 Express over Stewart Ave. Illinois’ I-90 Express bridge over Stewart Ave. in Cook County, built in 1962, is an urban interstate bridge facing a high traffic volume of 203,100 crossings daily. This makes it a vital yet potentially hazardous structure.
Iowa: Scott County’s Centennial Bridge, an urban other principal arterial bridge from 1940, experiences 30,600 daily crossings.
Kansas: College Blvd. bridge over Indian Creek in Johnson County, an urban minor arterial bridge from 1976, has 21,800 daily crossings.
Kentucky: The I-65 bridge over Grade Ln. in Jefferson County, an urban interstate bridge built in 1988, accommodates 166,770 daily crossings.
Louisiana: Calcasieu River Bridge in Calcasieu Parish, an urban interstate bridge from 1952, sees 86,600 daily crossings.
Recent Developments and Conclusion
The Biden-Harris Administration has initiated significant investments in bridge infrastructure, with nearly $300 million allocated for nine bridge projects under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program. These projects, serving over 230,000 vehicles daily, aim to reduce congestion and improve safety.
Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $40 billion for bridge repairs and replacements, targeting over 43,000 bridges in poor condition across the country. The Department of Transportation’s Bridge Formula Program, launched in January 2022, further supports these efforts with substantial funding for bridge repairs.
This state-by-state analysis of America’s most dangerous bridges, combined with recent federal investments and initiatives, underscores a critical turning point. Addressing these structural deficiencies is not only essential for ensuring safety but also vital for economic stability and community connectivity. The ongoing efforts to revitalize and modernize the nation’s bridge infrastructure are a significant step toward a safer, more efficient transportation network.