New York State’s Structurally Deficient Bridges
Every 2 years NYS inspectors assess all 17532 bridges in the state.
From the latest database, it was found that 1697 have been deemed to be in poor condition. That equates to 10.33 percent of the bridges in NYS being structurally deficient as compared to the national average of 7.5%. Structurally deficient does not mean it is unsafe or may imminently collapse. Rather it means that it may need repair or replacement or that it needs to have weight limits imposed such as those that say it is unsafe to carry heavy vehicles like tractor-trailers.
These bridges may be owned by various entities such as the NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Thruway Authority, or even a railroad. But more than sixty percent of the bridges are owned by local municipalities. And, these municipalities do not have the funding needed to make the repairs.
True, Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act did say it would invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads, and bridges as well as fund transportation research at universities, funding for Puerto Rico’s highways, and “congestion relief” in American cities. But how is that being proportioned? And will it be enough? For NY the answer is no the federal aid will not be enough regardless of how it is proportioned amongst the different projects. In NY just to repair the locally owned bridges and not factoring in any other entity like the State bridges or roads, it has been determined that $27.4 billion dollars would be needed, or the equivalent of one-fourth of the aid the federal government will give for the entire nation for roads and bridges and these other items listed above such as the Puerto Rico highway system and research.