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New Map of Bad Bridges May Hold Good Clout

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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Looking for a problem bridge? Uncle Sam has just the tool.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics has just released a revised version of its Map of Structurally Deficient Bridges.

The map is organized by congressional district, befitting DOT’s goal of increasing political pressure on Congress to increase funding for infrastructure repair.

Dot Marks the Deficiency

Bright green dots mark locations of structurally deficient bridges in each district.

The bridges displayed represent the results of a joint effort by BTS and the Federal Highway Administration to geocode bridges from FHWA’s National Bridge Inventory (NBI). All data are from the 2010 NBI. More current information may be available from state DOTs, the map notes.

 DOT

 DOT

Kentucky’s Sherman Minton Bridge has been closed indefinitely for repairs.

Still, the map provides an effective tool in Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s longstanding campaign for increased infrastructure funding.

Last week, LaHood stood with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to urge passage of the Rebuild America Jobs Act, which would have provided $60 billion in infrastructure investment. He also traveled to Pennsylvania, to speak on behalf of the measure at a crumbling bridge.

The bill, however, backed by President Obama, was killed just three days after it was introduced in the Senate.

Bridging Parties

“I've said numerous times … that there’s no such thing as a Democratic or Republican bridge, and that remains true,” LaHood blogged last week.

“But unfortunately, there is such a thing as bridges in need of repair, and those are the bridges that President Obama would like to see rehabilitated through the transportation provisions of the American Jobs Act. Through these proposed investments, we can get people back to work and make our transportation network safer.”

Update Requested

The bridge map had not been revised since August 2007, and a BTS spokesman said this week that the agency had “received a congressional request” to update it.

BTS is part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Government; Regulations

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