Transportation survey says nation's bridges are deficient

Lafayette Bridge
The underside of Lafayette Bridge, which takes Route 52 over the Mississippi River at near downtown St. Paul.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

A report on the nation's bridges says more than $140 billion is needed nationally for updates and repairs.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found that nearly one fourth of the nation's bridges are too narrow, structurally deficient or badly in need of repair.

The organization's executive director John Horsely said state and federal government have badly underfunded the nation's bridges.

"And let me tell you the final nail in our coffin: In the last five years construction costs have gone through the roof. Petroleum, asphalt, concrete, steel have increased at least 50 percent, some times four times," Horsely said.

The report was released to coincide with the anniversary of the 35W bridge collapse.

Congress is considering a bridge bill that would provide an additional one billion dollars in emergency bridge funding.