Apr 12, 2024 - Politics

🚧 DMV bridges' report card

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

The bridge collapse 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 amounts to 40,000 bridges.

Breaking it down: Locally, 4% of Virginia's bridges, 5% of Maryland's, and 2% of D.C.'s are rated "poor."

  • 33% of Virginia's bridges are considered "good," while it's 32% for Maryland and 34% for D.C.

Our neighbors in West Virginia have one of the country's highest rates of bridges considered in "poor" condition at 20%.

Yes, but: The nationwide trend has been quite positive over the past two decades, according to DOT data.

  • The percentage of bridges in poor condition has been cut in half from 15.2% in 2000 to 6.8% currently.

Pro tip: Locals with a fear of bridges can use drive-across services at Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and Maryland's Bay Bridge.


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