Illinois has 3rd most ‘structurally deficient’ bridges in U.S.

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Poplar Street Bridge

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Nearly 9% of bridges in Illinois are structurally deficient, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The FHWA’s National Bridge Inventory rates the Land of Lincoln third in the nation in the overall number of structurally deficient bridges, with 2,374 bridges. The NBI says structurally deficient means “one of the key elements (of the bridge) is in poor or worse condition.” Iowa ranks number one in most S.D. bridges (4,571).

The Poplar Street Bridge in St. Clair County is among the most-traveled structurally deficient bridges in the state, with more than 117,000 daily crossings.

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Just under half of the structurally deficient bridges in the state are on “rural local roads,” according to the NBI report.

Illinois has 26,848 bridges in the state, meaning 8.8% of its bridges are classified as structurally deficient. Illinois ranks 15th among all states in the percentage of S.D. bridges. West Virginia takes the unfortunate top spot in this category with 21.2% of its bridge inventory in dire need of repair.

The state has identified 4,083 bridges that need repair, including more than 1,500 bridges that need to be replaced outright. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) estimates it would cost $5.6 billion to fix, repair, or replace those bridges.

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