Millions of Americans rely on over 600,000 bridges to get to and from work, school, appointments, and other activities each day. Unfortunately, a sizable portion of these structures aren’t up to code, putting everyone at risk.
When a bridge collapses or breaks, many individuals can be seriously injured or killed. Not only is the threat to people great, but things such as commute times and deliveries can be problematic for extended periods of time. Diverting traffic from one bridge only puts more pressure on another.
Bridges collapse because they’re either old or not properly maintained. Many were designed to last only for a certain period, while others get more traffic than originally planned for. Repairing bridges is a costly endeavor, and to repair all the nation’s deficient bridges would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
Washington State Bridge Statistics
The following are statistics provided by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA):
- Of the 8,178 bridges in Washington State, 392, or 5 percent, are classified as structurally deficient. This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is in “poor” or worse condition.
- 1,700 bridges, or 21 percent, are classified as “functionally obsolete.” This means the bridge does not meet design standards in line with current practice.
- 257 bridges are posted for load, which may restrict the size and weight of vehicles crossing the structure.
- Federal investment in Washington State has supported $2.7 billion for capital improvements on 826 bridges between 2005 and 2014.
- Since 2007, 664 new bridges have been constructed in the state; 113 have undergone major reconstruction.
- Washington State has identified needed repairs on 1,662 bridges, which the state estimates will cost $3 billion.
- The 10 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in Washington State are in King County, led by the Interstate 5 bridge over Galer & Lakeview (108,001 daily crossings).
Bridge Statistics In The United States
- There are 185 million daily crossings on nearly 56,000 structurally deficient bridges in the United States. About 1,900 of those bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
- As of 2016, one in 11 (9.1 percent) of bridges were
- designated structurally deficient, which
- represents an improvement from a decade ago when 12.3 percent of bridges were structurally deficient.
- Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before requiring major changes or replacement. On average, “structurally deficient bridges” are 65 years old.
- Of the 614,387 bridges in the National Bridge Inventory, almost four in 10 (39 percent) are over 50 years or older, and an additional 15 percent are between the ages of 40 and 49. The average bridge in the U.S. is 43 years old.
Consulting With An Attorney After A Bridge Accident
Knowledge is power, and those who have a better understanding of what impacts the odds of being involved in a bridge accident are therefore better prepared to protect themselves from serious injury as a result.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bridge collapse or accident and are unsure of your legal options, it may be beneficial to consult with a personal injury attorney about your case. Davis Law Group, P.S., works on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no obligation for simply discussing your case with our legal team. Let us help you get your life back on track and recover the fair level of compensation that you deserve. Call our office today at 206-539-0969 or contact us online with the form on this page.