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Connecticut in Middle of Road in "Worst Bridges" Rankings

A new report finds more than 370 bridges in Connecticut are in need of repairs or upgrade. Credit: JayDuck/Wikimedia Commons.
A new report finds more than 370 bridges in Connecticut are in need of repairs or upgrade. Credit: JayDuck/Wikimedia Commons.
April 8, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. - If your morning commute takes you across a bridge in Connecticut, a new report finds you could be traveling across a span with issues related to its superstructure, deck or substructure.

Alison Black, chief economist for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, said Connecticut ranks in the middle among states for the percentage of bridges in its inventory that are in serious need of repair, according to the group's new report.

"There are 378 bridges that are currently classified as structurally deficient," she said, "and that's about 9 percent of the entire inventory of just over 4,200 bridges in the state."

Nationwide, more than 60,000 bridges are structurally compromised, the report indicated, and many of those connect the most-traveled interstate highways.

Black said Congress faces an end-of-May deadline for funding the Highway Trust Fund, and many states are in a holding pattern waiting on a clear signal about whether federal funds will be forthcoming.

"So, when there is that uncertainty, that certainly impacts the pace of some of this work, as well as getting new projects out the door," Black said. "For many New England states, they are very highly dependent on that federal aid program for their capital investment."

The nation is underfunding road work at all levels, Black said, adding that a big concern is that even as states play catch-up on bridge work, it often comes at the expense of pavement needs in many states.

The report is online at slideshare.net.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT