Updated Mar 30, 2024 - Economy

Map: Where U.S. bridges are most in need of repair

Share of bridges in poor condition, 2023
Data: Federal Highway Administration; Map: Will Chase and Kavya Beheraj/Axios

While the bridge collapse in Baltimore was due to a series of unlikely accidents rather than crumbling infrastructure, the incident has put renewed focus on the vulnerability of bridges across the U.S.

The big picture: The Department of Transportation considers 6.8% of the over 600,000 bridges it tracks and rates to be in "poor" condition. That doesn't sound too bad on a percentage basis, but it's over 40,000 bridges in total.

Breaking it down: West Virginia, Iowa, South Dakota and Rhode Island fare the worst, with 15% to 20% of the bridges in each state rated "poor."

  • Georgia has the highest percentage of bridges in "good" condition (75%), while in Arizona, Nevada and Texas just 1% of bridges are rated "poor."

The trend nationwide is actually quite positive over the past two decades, according to the Department of Transportation data.

  • The percentage of bridges in poor condition has been halved from 15.2% in 2000 to 6.8% now.
U.S. bridges in <span style="background: #14A0FF; color: white; padding:5px">good/fair</span> or <span style="background: #FFA514; color: white; padding:5px">poor</span> condition
Data: USDOT National Bridge Inventory; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

What to watch: The bipartisan infrastructure law sets aside $40 billion to further repair and rebuild the nation's bridges but that investment will take years to go from ink to concrete.

Go deeper: Biden wants federal funds to rebuild Baltimore bridge

Go deeper