1,388 of Alabama’s bridges need structural repairs, feds say

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A recently released report by the U.S. Department of Transportation analyzing 2014 data finds that more than a thousand of Alabama’s bridges need capital improvements.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association reacted to the study in a recent press release, where they emphasized the need for additional investment by federal, state and local governments to repair the decaying thoroughfares. They also noted that about 17 bridges have been removed from the list after improvements last year.

“State and local governments are doing the best they can to address these significant challenges, given limited resources,” ARTBA Chief Economist Alison Premo Black said in a prepared statement.

“Without additional investment from all levels of government, our infrastructure spending will be a zero-sum game,” she said. She also said that there’s a backlog of more than $115 billion in bridge work and $755 billion in highway projects, according to U.S. DOT data.

“Many of the most heavily traveled bridges are nearly 50 years old. Elected officials can’t just sprinkle fairy dust on America’s bridge problem and wish it away,” Black said.  “It will take committed investment by legislators at all levels of government.”

Black indicated bridge investment has increased in recent years, but that it had come at the expense of highway and pavement spending, which according to ARTBA has dropped more than 20 percent in the past five years.

Here’s a list of Alabama’s 10 most structurally vulnerable bridges and where they are located:

  1. I-65 over U.S. 11, railroad and city streets (Jefferson County)
  2. I-10 WB & EB over Halls Mill Creek (Mobile County)
  3. I-59/20 over U.S. 31, railroads and city streets (Jefferson County)
  4. I-10 WB & EB over the Southern Drain Canal (Mobile County)
  5. I-10 over D’Olive Stream (Baldwin County)
  6. I-10 over Warren Creek (Mobile County)
  7. I-59/20 over Arron Aronov Drive (Jefferson County)
  8. U.S. 78 over Village Creek & the Frisco Railroad (Jefferson County)
  9. S.R. 210 over a stream (Houston County)
  10. I-65 over Hells Swamp Creek (Mobile County)
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