Philly, state lead nation in most deficient bridges

Philadelphia is at the tops of yet another study, although this is definitely not a study we’d like to be on top of.

Transportation for American has named Pennsylvania the state with the largest number of structurally deficient bridges at a whopping 5,906. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website defines a structurally deficient bridge as being “safe, but in need of costly repairs or replacement to bring it to current standards.”

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesperson Gene Blaum says that Pennsylvania is very aware of the situation and “we are being very aggressive in trying to lower the number of structurally deficient bridges.” Pennsylvania has an antiquated infrastructure and in particular — according to Blaum — Philadelphia leads the nation in bridges over 75 years old.

“It has reached a point where you have a cascade effect of aging bridges hit you. Other states will be facing this in years to come,” David Goldberg, Director of Communications for Transportation For America said. “The typical design life of a bridge is 50 years and the average age of bridges in the country is 42 years.”

According to Blaum, Gov. Tom Corbett has recommended in the 2011-2012 budget that the Accelerated Bridge Project continue. This program has plans to release contracts out to bid for multiple bridges later this year.

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