Data Shows One out of every Nine Bridges in America Remain Structurally Deficient on Eve of Obama Bridge Speech

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U.S. PIRG Education Fund

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 – With President Obama calling for robust investments in repairing America’s crumbling roads and bridges today, State PIRGs released data today documenting the number of “structurally deficient” bridges in seven states.

Across the nation, 69,223 bridges, more than one out of every nine, are rated structurally deficient by government standards, according to a report by Transportation for America. With most bridges built to last around 50 years, the average age of American bridges is now 42 years. The state-by-state reports break down the number of structurally deficient bridges by county.

Prioritizing timely road and bridge repair saves money, creates jobs, and can save lives. Putting off needed maintenance can cost taxpayers up to three times as much down the line. Repair projects also create 16 percent more jobs than new highway projects. “While highway builders have long lobbied for more roads and ever-wider highways to boost their profits, we cannot afford to waste scarce taxpayer dollars on new capacity before we fix what we already have,” said U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate Dan Smith.

“With tight budgets and stubbornly high unemployment, President Obama’s call to repair our infrastructure is on target. Fixing it first saves money, improves safety, and creates jobs, getting the most out of our transportation bucks,” he added.

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