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Best and Worst Bridge Infrastructure

One of the most important components of every state government is its commitment to road and bridge infrastructure. The road and bridge infrastructure keeps this vast country connected and allows trade routes to boost our economy

But not each of those infrastructures is equal. Furthermore, not every state is as committed to road and bridge infrastructure as others. Many states have seen their road and bridge infrastructure decline in recent decades, while others reinforce existing infrastructure.

Here are a few of the states with the best and worst transportation infrastructure in the U.S.

States with the Best Road and Bridge Infrastructure

1. Nevada

Spending the national average for state roads, Nevada wins the title of the state with the best road and bridge infrastructure in the United States. The percentage of structurally deficient road and bridges in Nevada are both some of lowest in the nation. According to USA Today in 2019, just 1.3 percent of Nevada’s roads were in poor condition, third-lowest. Only 1.4 percent of the state’s bridges were structurally deficient, second-lowest among states. Of course, Nevada’s status as a thinly-populated state heavily attributes to the quality of road condition.

2. Tennessee

Listed in the top three states with the best infrastructure is Tennessee. As one of the few states where less than 5 percent of their roads are in poor condition, Tennessee actually spends less than the national average in road maintenance. Tennessee was ranked second among states in road quality and eighth in bridge infrastructure quality by U.S. News.

As such, some researchers such as MoneyGeek pose the theory that there is no direct correlation between the money states spend and road conditions.

3. Florida

Following in Tennessee’s footsteps is the state of Florida. Less than 10 percent of Florida roads are in poor condition. Like Tennessee, Florida spends less than the national average on transportation infrastructure. U.S. News ranked the sunshine state seventh in road quality and third in bridge infrastructure quality.

A big contributor to this is the weather climate in the south. Unlike northern states, Florida endures very little cold weather and there is no salting of roads to affect them.

States with the Worst Road and Bridge Infrastructure

1. Rhode Island

Rhode Island is ranked second in population per capita in the United States among states. Maybe that’s why it ranks as the top state with the worst road and bridge infrastructure. Roughly 53 percent of roads and 23 percent of bridges are considered deficient in Rhode Island, which means they could be unsafe for many motorists. U.S. News ranked Rhode Island 49th in road quality and dead last in bridge quality.

Constant use of state roads by the dense population contributes to the deteriorating roads. In addition, Rhode Island spends less money than most states on public infrastructure.

2. New Jersey

Despite spending 57 percent of their budget on highway repairs, New Jersey is still considered one of the worst states in road and bridge infrastructure. New Jersey has the fourth-highest percentage of roads in poor condition, and the third-highest travel time to work, at 32 minutes. Similar to Rhode Island, it is believed that New Jersey’s dense population and congested roads are the main reasons behind its declining infrastructure.

3. California

It’s not surprising that California appears in the list of states with the worst road infrastructure. As the most populated state in our country, it makes sense that its congested roads are deteriorating quickly. Almost 45 percent of California’s roads rate as in poor condition. They are 48th in road condition in the United States., with 16.9 percent of roads in poor condition. However, the state does get a tick up in its bridge infrastructure, coming in at 19th according to U.S. News.

Why does Bridge Infrastructure Matter?

Each state chooses a specific amount to allocate towards road and bridge infrastructure. However, many components can affect this number. On average, states spend about eight percent of their budget on road repairs and infrastructure. The money for this is levied from tolls and gas tax. That being said, 2020’s national shutdown due to COVID-19 created a significant dent in states’ reservoir as individuals began working from home.

Infrastructure affects things like our economy and public safety. The worse a state’s road infrastructure, the more likely for drivers on the road. State governments intend for roads and bridges to be a reliable and safe transportation network. However, a study by MoneyGeek revealed that state funds are allocated towards maintaining, and often not improving deteriorating roads.

Build with U.S. Bridge

At U.S. Bridge, we pride ourselves on building bridges and adding to infrastructure that will last for decades. We understand the importance of our country’s infrastructure. That’s why we contribute sustainable solutions to America’s infrastructure. We manufacture, engineer and build bridges to withhold time, weather, and sustain the everyday toll of traffic.

Contact us today for a free quote, or use our exclusive bridge scope tool for a free quick estimate. Let’s build reliable transportation infrastructure together.

Bridge Inspection Market expected to Quadruple by 2029

One in nine bridges in the United States is structurally deficient, with an average age of 42 years old. The increase in structurally deficient bridges is giving way to development in the bridge inspection market. Sooner or later, these structures require inspections to identify significant maintenance, rehabilitation, or potential replacement.

The Rise of Bridge Inspection

Already, there is a rise in bridge collapses across the globe. Moving forward, more bridges will continue to destabilize due to changing climatic conditions, increasing traffic, and extreme weather events.

Demand for routine bridge inspections will rise at least four times its current level, according to research firm Fact.MR. The industry is projecting to reach a market valuation of $6.3 billion by the end of 2029, as federal governments consider funding solutions to support infrastructure.

Estimates from the same research expect routine bridge inspections to create an absolute dollar opportunity of $5 billion in the United States. Meanwhile, developing economies such as China, India, and Brazil are seeing a spike in infrastructure upkeep as well.

Benefits of Bridge Inspection

More than 40 percent of the 600,000 bridges in the United States are over 50 years in age. As more bridges require inspection, bridge inspection continues to evolve. It’s vital for owners to monitor the condition of bridges to apply timely maintenance and preservation before they become dangerous.

Above all, bridge inspections are key for owners to keep bridges in good condition and keep them from the “structurally deficient” label. Additionally, the structure can maintain a detailed history of maintenance and previous natural disaster damage over its life cycle.

In the long run, inspections save money for owners and keep the people in their jurisdiction safe. The federal guidelines require inspections of the National Bridge Inventory bridges every two years. It’s often difficult to complete these inspections within the timeframe due to the availability of infrastructure funds. However, encouraging the use of technological advancements in bridge inspection at every level including initial, routine, and in-depth inspections.

Inspection Technology has a Key Role in Expansion

Traditional bridge inspection methods are time-consuming, dangerous, costly, and inconvenient to travelers. Instead, many bridge owners are turning to technologically advanced methods of evaluating bridges that are non-destructive and automated. The most popular of these methods are drones with specialized sensors, which are preemptive in identifying weaknesses in bridges.

Drone technology is revolutionizing bridge inspections. Information from pre-programmed drone flights is giving bridge owners and engineers data to plan the maintenance and rehabilitation for bridges. Drones can reach tight areas and confined spaces without putting a life at risk. In short time, drones create a high-quality 3D image to transform data about the bridges in a much more efficient way.

As of 2018, over 30 state Departments of Transportation were already using drone technology to do inspections. Here are some of the significant uses for drones from Minnesota’s Department of Transportation study in bridge inspections:

  • Average cost savings on a bridge inspection are 40%, without cutting man-hours
  • Using thermal sensors and drones can detect concrete delaminations
  • Reducing safety risks
  • Gathering pre-inspection information for planning large-scale inspections
  • Using drones is safe and effective in challenging conditions

Technology and methods for determining how to maintain bridge infrastructure continue to develop. Thus, more bridge owners continue to use it to decrease costs and assure the safety of more bridges. As a result, the bridge inspection marketplace will continue to grow with the development of technology as an important aspect for market players.

U.S. Bridge’s long-lasting bridges

U.S. Bridge focuses on strengthening infrastructure and bridge repair to connect communities. Our bridges are sustainable and safe, making transportation possible for people everywhere. Our bridge engineers meet the safety needs and design requirements to ensure durable quality prefabricated bridges. Get a quote online or visit our website for more information from our bridge experts.

Congestion Pricing And The Bridge Industry

Congestion pricing has become a topic of interest, as many commuters are being affected by it. However, this audience also includes the bridge industry. With more bridges aging quickly, repairs and replacement are needed. But with limited financial resources, effective congestion pricing may be the solution for bridge managers, as bridge maintenance costs are often included in the price. However, there are pros and cons to the impact of this practice.

Congestion Pricing 101

Congestion pricing is the charge that people pay for using public assets, such as bridges, tunnels, or other infrastructure. In other words, it is the toll charges that commuters must pay. These charges differ in amounts of money depending on timely demand for use of the asset. For instance, in the case of bridges, the toll charge increases during peak hours. The fundamental concept is that at a cost of zero, public asset usage would increase astronomically. Thus leading to more overcrowding and faster deterioration of the infrastructure.

“If a good or service is provided free of charge, people tend to demand more of it — and use it more wastefully — than they would if they had to pay a price that reflected its cost. Hence, congestion pricing is premised on a basic economic concept: charge a price in order to allocate a scarce resource to its most valuable use, as evidenced by users’ willingness to pay for the resource.”

Testimony from a 2003 United States Congress Joint Economic Committee

What Experts Say

Congestion pricing was created to control demands during times of peak use. Economists say that this pricing strategy is most successful when people understand the costs they pay during peak demand. This higher price forces them to pay for “negative” habits, like overloading bridges during heavy traffic. So, people who truly need to use the public asset, are more willing to pay the higher cost. Whereas, those who have more flexibility, could change the time of their commute or choose a different route. In brief, congestion charges encourage consumers to readjust their demand by location or time.

Alleviating Overcrowding

Many large cities around the world are already adopting the practice of congestion pricing. Also, smaller cities that experience overcrowding are taking advantage of it. To alleviate the overcrowding issue, there are metro areas that are beginning to develop plans to include such charges in the next few years.

Negative Effects of Congestion Pricing

Like everything, there are some negative effects to this practice. Critics claim that congestion pricing is not an equitable practice because it creates more economic and social burdens on certain communities. For instance, people who are dependent on a particular transportation service may find themselves restricted. Further, this practice may pose a decrease of economic activity in certain areas.

Economists say that when implementing this practice, certain issues should be considered:

  • Define the objectives: reduce traffic, lower congestion, generate revenue, etc.
  • Determine the best way to set and collect fares or tolls.
  • Ensure that revenue covers basic expenses while providing enough to pay for improvements and new development.
  • Decide what to do with excess revenue.
  • Prevent negative impact on vulnerable communities and populations.

U.S. Bridge Steel Bridges Stand the Test of Time

These are some of the points that should be considered so that the program can be successful. It is important to recognize that using good congestion pricing strategies can be a good way to control usage and slow down decay. Further, this practice can generate revenue that could be implemented in the repair, replacement, or addition of infrastructure. The good thing is that U.S. Bridge steel bridges stand the test time. Our bridges are engineered and manufactured with longevity at its core. Contact us today or get a quote online and start your project today.

The Economic Benefits Of Bridge Building

Most of us don’t notice much about the bridges and roads that connect our cities and states. However, we would certainly notice if we woke up one day and they weren’t there. Bridges play a crucial role in various aspects of modern life, enabling us to get to work or school and contributing to the country’s economic development. This, of course, is something the American Society of Civil Engineers knows well. Every four years, this all-important group releases a bridge report card, assessing how these structures are holding up. Read on to learn more about bridge economic impact and what we can do to protect these structures moving forward.

Aiding in Infrastructure

Bridge economic impact starts with the way they support the transport of people and goods. Along with allowing companies to ship materials, bridges enable consumers to travel to shops and malls and visit new cities as tourists. When a bridge goes down, the surrounding area experiences a halt in economic activity, as people can no longer purchase goods and services with the same ease.

Supporting the Local Economy

Bridges also support the local economy, thanks to wages paid to construction workers and repair crews. Even the most well-designed bridges require regular cleaning and maintenance. Bridge workers then give this money back to the local community by paying taxes and purchasing local goods and services.

Connecting Communities

Bridge economic impact issues go beyond simple cash flow. Bridges connect people in different communities, allowing them to interact for work or play. This capacity is especially essential for areas where one town has an abundance of raw materials and another has a labor force in need of work. In this way, both people and communities can support one another.

What’s to Come for Our Nation’s Bridges

In assessing the country’s bridges, the American Society of Civil Engineers determined that the average bridge age is rising. As result, the United States will need to spend $120 billion or more to complete the necessary repairs and get all the bridges up to code. That’s where companies like U.S. Bridge can help.

Contact Us for a Consultation

As a leader in bridge design and manufacture, U.S. Bridge helps communities create safe, longer-lasting bridges. Plus, we build many of our bridges using prefabricated panels and assemble them in modules to expedite construction. For more about our services, call today or contact us online.