Nearly one thousand of the state’s 4,000 road bridges aren’t up to modern standards, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation report.
The DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics released its annual State Transportation Statistics report in November. Connecticut’s road bridges ranked poorly on one measure but marginally better than average on another.
The DOT categorizes subpar bridges as “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete.”
The department describes the difference as follows:
“Structural deficiencies are characterized by deteriorated conditions of significant bridge elements and potentially reduced load-carrying capacity, but do not necessarily imply safety concerns. Functional obsolescence is characterized by bridges not meeting current design standards, such as lane width or number of lanes, relative to the traffic volume carried by the bridge.”
The state had the seventh-highest percentage (24.6 per cent) of “functionally obsolete” bridges. That’s 975 out of 4,071 bridges in the state. That’s far above the national average of 13.8 per cent of bridges that are considered obsolete.
The state did better on its count of “structurally deficient” bridges, with 9.2 percent (373) earning that designation compared to 10.1 percent nationally.
The bridge numbers in the 2015 report reflect conditions as of 2014. Gov. Dannel Malloy has recently been highlighting efforts to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure.
In a press release last Monday, the governor pointed to a number of improvements, including the September 2015 completion of the new I-95 Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven, and the December 2015 completion of the I-95 Moses Wheeler Bridge over the Housatonic River between Stratford and Milford.