According to American Road & Transportation Builders Association, it’s absolutely vital to combine federal, state, and local funding to start moving forward with large infrastructure projects.
They emphasized the direct link between modernizations and improvements and increased economic growth.
Though they don’t believe the process will be easy and view it as a tremendous opportunity.
The current presidential administration has gone on record in favor of infrastructure projects; with Congressional support the sort of work that’s sorely needed could really get moving.
When it comes to structurally-deficient bridges, the five most at-risk states were Rhode Island, Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
The percentage of bridges needing critical repairs was as high as 25 percent in Rhode Island, and even in West Virginia, the percentage is over 15 percent.
Iowa leads the nation in the total number of at-risk bridges with 4,968
There are many other states with similarly high totals: Pennsylvania has 4,506, Oklahoma has 3,460, Missouri has 3,195, and Nebraska has 2,361. (These figures were collected by ARTBA.)
State officials in Rhode Island actually identified a full 724 of the state’s bridges in need of repair out of a total of 772.
The cost for all the necessary repairs would be roughly $3 billion.
Only 192 of Rhode Island’s bridges qualify as structurally deficient, but another 242 bridges were assessed to be “functionally obsolete,” i.e. with outdated designs.
The governor of the state, Democrat Gina Raimondo identified bridge repair as the key place where funds collected from truck tolls would be used.
In Iowa, state transportation officials assessed 14,829 of the state’s 24,184 bridges as needing repair work.
Four percent of the state’s bridges (1,039) can be considered functionally obsolete.
This latest report from ARTBA stressed that investment in infrastructure projects like bridges cannot be delayed indefinitely.
Sara Kline, specializing in transportation at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said she expected the states to continue pressing forward on their own in coming up with ways to fund infrastructure projects.
She noted that the size of the task facing the states would be much larger if they did not receive federal support.
Kline hoped that the increased attention currently being paid to infrastructure translates into continued momentum in the future.