NEW TRIP REPORT IDENTIFIES NEW YORK STATE BRIDGES MOST IN NEED OF REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT

APPROXIMATELY 11.6 MILLION VEHICLES PER DAY CROSS STATE’S POOR/ STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES; TEN PERCENT OF NEW YORK’S BRIDGES ARE RATED POOR/STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT AND 53 PERCENT ARE RATED FAIR.

Ten percent of bridges in New York State are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition, according to a new report released recently by TRIP, a Washington, DC-based national transportation research nonprofit. This includes bridges 20 feet or longer. A bridge is rated poor/structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components

The TRIP report, Preserving New York’s Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of New York’s Aging Bridge System,” finds that 1,757 of New York’s 17,521 bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition –ten percent. New York bridges that are poor/structurally deficient carry 11,590,945 vehicles per day.  Poor/structurally deficient bridges may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Deteriorated bridges can have a significant impact on daily life. Restrictions on vehicle weight may cause many vehicles – especially emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, school buses, and farm equipment – to use alternate routes to avoid weight-restricted bridges. Redirected trips also lengthen travel time, waste fuel and reduce the efficiency of the local economy.

Fifty-three percent (9,364 of 17,521) of locally and state-maintained bridges in New York have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound, but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure. The remaining 37 percent (6,400 of 17,521) of the state’s bridges are rated in good condition.

“Maintaining safe and stable infrastructure is critically important to all New Yorkers. Every day, millions of people travel through our state on what are often poor and structurally deficient roads and bridges,” said Senator Tim Kennedy, chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation. “Now more than ever we need to ensure that we’re dedicating resources to local infrastructure that is desperately in need of repair and maintenance. Taxpayer dollars must be put to work to improve our local community. I will continue to work with local stakeholders and continue to fight for additional funding to improve our roads and bridges.”

The list below details the five most heavily traveled poorly/structurally deficient bridges in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica areas. ADT is average daily traffic. A list of the 25 most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in each area can be found in the body of the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the individual ratings for the superstructure, substructure, and deck of each bridge.

“On behalf of our more than 900 Town Highway Superintendents we’d like to thank TRIP for its excellent work highlighting the need for increased funding to stabilize the condition of our state and local bridges,” said Town of Denmark Highway Superintendent Patrick Mahar, president of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways. “We commend Governor Cuomo and our state legislators for investing over $450 million in local bridges through the Bridge-NY program. But significant increases are needed in this and other local infrastructure programs to ensure New Yorkers don’t have to continue to drive over deficient bridges.”

The list below details the five poor/structurally deficient bridges in the state’s largest urban areas (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day) with the lowest average rating for the condition of the deck, substructure, and superstructure. Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating poor condition.  A bridge receiving a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure is rated as poor/structurally deficient. A list of the 25 bridges in each area with the lowest average rating for the major components of the bridge can be found in the body of the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the individual ratings for the superstructure, substructure, and deck of each bridge.

“The TRIP Report underscores what highway superintendents throughout the state understand the condition of many of our local bridges. Poor bridge condition ratings negatively impact functionality, time of travel, safety, the local economy and the overall experience of the traveling public,” said Dennis S. Davis, president of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association. “With many aging bridges more than 70 years old, not to mention tens of thousands of culverts also requiring immediate reconstruction or replacement, we face a situation in desperate need of increased public investment and a concerted effort on the part of all levels of government to address the funding demands of our aging and ailing transportation systems.”

“New York’s bridges are a critical component of the state’s transportation system, providing connections for personal mobility, economic growth, and quality of life,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without increased and reliable transportation funding, numerous projects to improve and preserve aging bridges in the Capital Region and statewide will not move forward, hampering New York’s ability to efficiently and safely move people and goods.”

Preserving New York’s Bridges

THE CONDITION AND FUNDING NEEDS OF

NEW YORK’S AGING BRIDGE SYSTEM

Executive Summary

New York’s bridges are a critical element of the state’s transportation system, supporting commerce, economic vitality, and personal mobility. To retain businesses, accommodate population and economic growth, and preserve economic competitiveness, New York will need to maintain and modernize its bridges by repairing or replacing deficient bridges and providing needed maintenance on other bridges.  Making needed improvements to New York’s bridges will require increased and reliable funding from local, state and federal governments, which will also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long term economic growth as a result of preserved and enhanced mobility and access.

 

NEW YORK BRIDGES ARE INCREASINGLY DETERIORATED

Ten percent (1,757 of 17,521) of New York’s locally and state-maintained bridges are rated as poor/structurally deficient, the 12thhighest rate in the nation.  A bridge is rated in poor/structurally deficient condition if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Bridges that are poor/structurally deficient may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Fifty-three percent of New York’s locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition. A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure. The remaining 37 percent of the state’s bridges are rated in good condition.

The chart below details the number and share of poor/structurally deficient, fair and good bridges statewide and in New York’s largest urban areas.

Every day, approximately 11.6 million vehicles cross poor/structurally deficient New York bridges. The chart below details the number of vehicles in each urban area and statewide that cross a poor/structurally deficient bridge each day.

NEW YORK’S MOST DEFICIENT BRIDGES

The list below details the five most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica areas. ADT is average daily traffic. A list of the 25 most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in each area can be found in the body of the report.

The list below details the five poor/structurally deficient bridges in the state’s largest urban areas (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day) with the lowest average rating for the condition of the deck, substructure, and superstructure. Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating poor condition.  A bridge receiving a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure is rated as poor/structurally deficient. A list of the 25 bridges in each area with the lowest average rating for the major components of the bridge can be found in the body of the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the individual ratings for the superstructure, substructure, and deck of each bridge.

NEW YORK’S BRIDGES ARE AGING

A significant number of New York’s bridges have surpassed or are approaching 50 years old, which is typically the intended design life for bridges built during this era. The average age of all New York’s bridges is 50 years, while the average age of the state’s bridges that are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition is 70 years.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND PRESERVING NEW YORK’S AGING BRIDGES

Maintaining aging bridges becomes more costly as they reach the limits of their design life, challenging state and local transportation agencies to take an asset management approach to bridge preservation that emphasizes enhanced maintenance techniques that keep infrastructure in good condition as long as possible, delaying the need for costly reconstruction or replacement.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that it would cost $3.6 billion to replace or rehabilitate all poor/structurally deficient bridges in New York.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of New York’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $1.3 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New York, mostly by truck. Increases in passenger and freight movement will place further burdens on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges. The value of freight shipped from and to sites in New York, when adjusted for inflation, is expected to increase by 154 percent from 2016 to 2045, and by 108 percent for goods shipped by trucks.

A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in New York supports approximately 319,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $9.8 billion annually. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in New York in key industries like tourism, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Bridge Inventory (NBI), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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