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New T4America report chronicles the prevalence of Minnesota’s structurally deficient bridges

As the Minnesota legislature debates legislation to increase transportation funding, T4America released a new report looking at the prevalence of structurally deficient bridges in the state. This report is a state-level version of “The Fix We’re In For,” a report we’ve issued several times since 2011, with updated 2015 statistics for Minnesota.

Minnesota today has 830 structurally deficient bridges — bridges in urgent need of repair or replacement — representing 6.4 percent of the state’s 12,961 bridges. The average age of these sub-par bridges is 66 years — well over the typical design life of 50 years and nearly double the average age of all Minnesota bridges (35 years old). More than one in ten Minnesota bridges were built before 1948 — which means more than 1,300 bridges are older than the Korean War and creation of Medicare. Minnesota drivers collectively took close to 628 million trips over deficient bridges in 2014. That’s more than 1.7 million trips per day or almost 1,200 trips every minute taken over deficient Minnesota bridges in 2014.

With the Minnesota legislature currently debating bills right now to increase state transportation funding, something that 19 states have successfully undertaken since 2012, it’s a good time to look at the problem and what can be done to address it — especially in light of the uncertainty surrounding federal transportation funding as Congress has repeatedly failed to find stable, long-term funding for the nearly insolvent Highway Trust Fund.

Download the report to see the full summary statistics, data broken up by county, and T4America’s recommendations for Minnesota and states around the country hoping to address their backlog of structurally deficient bridges.