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Progress in repairing bridges begins to flatten without new revenue

April 19, 2024

Despite the progress that was made in repairing and replacing Pennsylvania bridges following the passage of Act 89 in 2013, the Commonwealth finds itself listed as the second-worst state for the condition of its bridges with more than 3,000 in poor condition, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

A recent spate of accidents involving bridges – most notably Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge – have focused new attention on the bridge condition issue across the U.S.

Pennsylvania has 25,400 bridges, more than half of which are in “fair” condition and 13% are in “poor” condition, according to the Federal Highway Administration. PennDOT says the average bridge in the state is at least 50 years old.

On the bright side, the number of bridges in poor condition has dropped by 500 since 2019. Moreover, before Act 89, there were more than 6,000 in poor condition.

In any case, there are still many bridges to fix or replace, with resources diminishing due to increasing cost of materials, labor costs and shrinking revenue as vehicles become more fuel-efficient and the electric vehicle market grows. Policymakers will be challenged to identify new streams of revenue in the next few years.

For more details on the ARTBA report, follow this link.

 

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