A new report from Transportation For America, The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Nation’s Busiest Bridges, shows that millions of vehicles cross structurally deficient bridges in the region’s metro areas every day.
The region’s aging infrastructure means that drivers frequently cross structurally deficient bridges, particularly in metro areas. For example, in the New York City metropolitan area, 17.5 million vehicles cross a deficient bridge every day.
The federal Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which is being debated by Congress, could make it harder for states to maintain bridges, because a budget proposal passed by a House subcommittee would cut federal road, bridge, and public transit funds by a third. The Senate’s version of the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill would largely preserve existing levels of funding. Congress also has been unable to pass a long-term transportation funding bill for 2 years.
TSTC conducted a breakout analysis which found that over 10 million vehicles crossed a deficient bridge in the NJ portions of the NYC and Philadelphia metro areas every day. New Jersey’s U.S. Senate delegation cited the report as evidence that cuts to transportation could not stand.
“Too many of New Jersey’s bridges are deteriorating and in desperate need of repair,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg said. “Those in Washington who are undercutting transportation projects must stop, and work together to invest in infrastructure that will create jobs, make our communities safer and improve the economy for all.”
“Many in Congress have talked about steep cuts to transportation, but this report shows that we can’t afford to cut back,” Senator Robert Menendez said. “Investing in bridges and transportation keeps our residents safe and our economy competitive, and puts people back to work.”
The national report includes data for 102 metropolitan areas. Below are data for metropolitan areas in the tri-state region (sorted by daily traffic on deficient bridges):
|Metro Population 2009||Metro Area Name||Percent Deficient||Total Deficient Bridges||Average Daily Traffic on Deficient Bridges||Drivers crossing deficient bridge every second|
|19,069,796||New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||9.80%||778||17,505,467||203|
|New Jersey portion of NYC metro area||10.16%||465||8,591,823||99|
|New Jersey portion of Philadelphia metro area||9.06%||85||2,029,574||23|
|848,006||New Haven-Milford, CT||6.50%||56||1,323,898||15|
|1,195,998||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||7.90%||108||1,168,144||14|
|1,123,804||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||8.60%||99||591,016||7|
“There are more deficient bridges in our metropolitan areas than there are McDonald’s restaurants in the entire country,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America; there are 18,239 deficient bridges versus roughly 14,000 McDonald’s. “These metropolitan-area bridges are most costly and difficult to fix, but they also are the most urgent, because they carry such a large share of the nation’s people and goods.”
The national report includes data for 102 metropolitan areas and is available on T4America’s website.