DOT Agency Maps Nation's Structurally Deficient Bridges

They are marked on a map for each state's congressional district(s), supporting Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's call for Congress to provide repair funding.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has posted a map of structurally deficient bridges throughout the country. The data from BTS, which is part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, consists of a separate map for each congressional district in the states. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urged Congress to provide repair funds on Nov. 3.

The following day, the Associated General Contractors of America said its latest analysis of federal employment data shows the construction industry's unemployment rate is 13.7 percent after 20,000 jobs were lost between September and October because of a slowdown in public-sector investments. The unemployment rate was even worse, at 17.3 percent, one year earlier, according to AGC. However, the association also reported some encouraging news: A group of Republican leaders signed a letter supporting a new six-year transportation funding bill.

"I've said numerous times on this blog that there's no such thing as a Democratic or Republican bridge, and that remains true," LaHood wrote. "But unfortunately, there is such a thing as bridges in need of repair, and those are the bridges that President Obama would like to see rehabilitated through the transportation provisions of the American Jobs Act. Through these proposed investments, we can get people back to work and make our transportation network safer. . . .

"But it's not just bridges for cars and trucks that are in need of long-delayed repairs. As Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said this morning, 'Southeastern Pennsylvania, home to some of the oldest transit infrastructure in the nation, is in need of a 21st Century overhaul.' I agree with Administrator Rogoff. The Bridgeport-Norristown Viaduct was built a century ago, in 1911. In 2011, it carries thousands of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority passengers monthly on the Norristown High Speed Line. The viaduct extends from the Norristown Transportation Center, and it carries riders over two other rail lines, the Schuylkill River, and the town of Bridgeport before ending at Bridgeport Station.

"But the 100-year-old structure is showing its age with cracks to the steel and concrete elements, corrosion losses, and failing timber ties. It's safe, but we need to make sure it stays that way. The transportation funding in the American Jobs Act will provide SEPTA and transit agencies across the country with the resources they need to complete critical repairs and upgrades. It will also provide a great opportunity for hundreds of thousands of American workers to get back on the job, whether that job is rebuilding roadways or repairing transit tracks."

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