A study by the group that’s pushing for more federal funding for transportation projects shows Iowa ranks third nationally for the number of bridges that are rated “structurally deficient” — which means they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement. The report by “Transportation for America” says nearly 22% of the state’s 24,722 bridges fall into that category.
Jasper County engineer, Russell Stutt, says replacing a bridge can be very expensive. He says replacing a typical 30-foot wide bridge costs between $3,500 and $4,000 per lineal foot. a bridge is rated structurally deficient when it gets a rating of four or less based on a 9-point scale.
Stutt says the bridges can still be used safely. Stutt says structurally deficient doesn’t mean the bridge is not crossable, but it will likely have load restrictions. The study says around 24% of the bridges in Stutts county are structurally deficient.
Stutt says that’s probably pretty close as they are always looking to replace bridges, and that includes replacing some of the smaller ones with culverts. The report said Nevada, Florida, Texas and Arizona had the bridges in the best shape.
See the whole report here: Bridge report PDF
By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton