Iowa Bridges Worst in the Nation
A new analysis from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says more than 55,000 bridges in the United States are inadequate. That's an average of 1,100 per state but it's MUCH worse here in Iowa.
The ARTBA says there are nearly 5,000 bridges in Iowa that are deficient from a structural standpoint. That doesn't mean they may collapse at any moment, but it DOES mean there's a problem. It could be in sub-structure, the deck, or another key part of the bridge. We saw just how serious this can be when the Highway 965 bridge over the Iowa River was closed for a couple months last year after cracks were found in the decking of the bridge.
Iowa has more than 24,000 bridges and 21 percent of them (4,968 to be exact) are considered deficient in structure. A total of 1,039 of those are described by the ARTBA as "functionally obsolete."
In Linn County, the most-traveled deficient bridge is the 8th Avenue bridge over the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids. Built in 1938, it sees more than 13,700 vehicles per day. The City of Cedar Rapids plans to replace the bridge in either 2018 or 2019, according to KCRG. It will likely be one of two designs, chosen by citizens:
In Johnson County, the most heavily-traveled bridge in need of repairs is the northbound Highway 1 Bridge over the Iowa River. It was built in 1915, and is crossed by around 12,950 vehicles each day.
There is much work to be done around the state, with Iowa estimating a total of three million dollars in repair. A price tag that goes up each day.